UP Catholic 12 18 2015 E Edition Page 1

In my heart, I will be carrying you and your prayer intentions to the stable where Jesus lies Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ, This is the second Christmas that I am celebrating with you as your bishop. In my heart I will be carrying you and your prayer intentions to the stable where Jesus lies. Each year I have sent a letter to every Catholic household, and I have asked how I can pray for you. The thou- sands of prayer requests that I have received speak of the burden of suffering that so many of you bear. Gazing on Jesus, laid in a manger, we see how the love of God brings bandages and heals these wounds of suffering. Let me explain by quoting the account of Jesuss birth in the Gospel According to St. Luke. Joseph too went up from Galilee from the town of Nazareth to Judea, to the city of David that is called Bethlehem to be enrolled with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. While they were there, the time came for her to have her child, and she gave birth to her firstborn son. She wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger. (Luke 2:4-7) Why did Mary wrap Jesus in swaddling clothes? Swaddling clothes are strips of cloth wrapped around a baby to prevent movement of its arms and legs. The Fathers of the Church saw swad- dling clothes as a foreshadowing of the burial cloths of Jesus. Yet there is another meaning too. Swaddling clothes are like bandages. In this light, we see the suffering of all humanity borne in the body of Jesus, and the bandages bind up the wounds of humanitys suffering. On Christmas we see the suffering of humanity borne in the body of a babe wrapped in the tender bandages of love to bring us Gods healing. So Christmas day is a great day of hope. As I visit the stable, I will offer your sufferings to Jesus who binds them with swaddling clothes, the bandages of his love to heal humanitys wounds. With prayers that your hearts be filled with the Joy of the Gospel, I am Sincerely in Christ, +John F. Doerfler Bishop of Marquette The Catholic U.P . EVANGELIZATION EDUCATION INFORMATION $2.00 20 Pages December 18, 2015 Vol. 44 No. 18 JOHN FEE THE U.P. CATHOLIC An image of the nativity scene is found in the stained glass windows of St. Joseph Parish in Sault Ste. Marie. THE NEWSPAPER OF THE DIOCESE OF MARQUETTE HOLY DAYS OF OBLIGATION: Dec. 25 - Christmas, the Nativity of the Lord & Jan. 1 - Solemnity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Holy Mother of God P8-10 MASS TIMES: Find a Mass time for all of the dioc- esan parishes and missions P11-14

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