Spanish bishop calls for authentic joy in Christmas season
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.- Bishop Demetrio Fernandez of Cordoba, Spain said the upcoming Christmas season should be a time of great joy for believers, not exhaustion or distraction. 

“The joy of Christmas is inspiring” and “should lead us to live closer to God and to be more open to our brothers and sisters,” Archbishop Fernandez told Europa Press on Dec. 9.  

“Christmas is Jesus Christ, and to celebrate Christmas is to have an encounter with Jesus Christ and find salvation in Him,” the archbishop said.  

However, perhaps “for many,” he added, “Christmas has been emptied of its real content. Perhaps for many, even Christians and believers, Christmas will be nothing more than a family festivity, and maybe not even that.”

Archbishop Fernandez said that the “word of God warns us: 'Let us then throw off the works of darkness (and) put on the armor of light; let us conduct ourselves properly as in the day, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in promiscuity and licentiousness, not in rivalry and jealousy.'”

Christmas should center “us more on God and on the mission that God has entrusted to us, to help each one of us to more and more fulfill the obligations of our state in life and our vocation,” he underscored.

“If we live Christmas this way, we will realize what the festivity is, and to wait for this festivity is reason for great joy.”

“Christmas is a time of great joy for the Christian believer,” because “the Son of God takes on our mortal flesh to make us participants in his immortality and divine life,” he noted.

“This salvation is not something that happened and that we remember as something from the past, but rather it is happening today, it is happening for us and for all of humanity.”

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