Christmas Message   2011/11/30
By: Rami Qumsieh

Most of us are getting accustomed to the new language in the Roman Missal. In the Nicene Creed, we use the word Incarnate. This is a very Catholic word, meaning simply but not entirely, that Jesus was born. Incarnate, by the Holy Spirit; of the Virgin Mary. But, when and where? Well, two thousand and eleven years ago in Bethlehem, at the Church of Nativity. We are a pilgrim Church, with specific events that took place at certain locations and points in time. When St. Helena came to the Holy Land to build churches where Jesus ministered, it was easy to find these locations since the local Christians kept Vigil at these spots. We are blessed to have the entire ministry of Jesus documented and commemorated by parishes. We are equally blessed that until today, there remains a Christian Palestinian community bearing witness at these Churches, against all the odds. These Christians are waiting to greet you, just like they greeted St. Helena. I ask you in a very special way to remember in your prayers these First Christians, who remain in the Holy Land. The Middle East is in true turmoil, and the Christians are a mere 2% of the population. Please pray for Christianity to survive where it began. I wish you a very joyous journey through Advent and a very Merry Christmas. Next year hopefully in Bethlehem! Peace, Rami Qumsieh, a concerned Catholic Palestinian from Bethlehem.

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