You Are the Spirit of Christmas

This Christmas, our world is fractured, fighting, and fearful. We desperately need the miracle of Heaven joining with Earth, bringing peace and a greater sense of unity. As LGBT and ally Catholics, this longing has special significance to us, and we are uniquely able to appreciate the gift of the sacred season of Christmas.

The Christmas story is one of an unlikely family changing the world. A young woman who says “Yes” to a mysterious invitation to birth the Messiah her people has awaited for generations. A non-biological father who safeguards a woman and child from social stigma and ostracism. A child who grows into an adulthood no one could have expected, who gave healing, new interpretation of the law and even his life for his community. Each of us is part of this story, this miraculous triumph of love, courage, and self-giving.

This Christmas, we are grateful for the bravery of each person who dares to be true to the God incarnate in us, who is open about our gender identity or sexual orientation, even in the face of condemnation or ridicule. The grace of living in truth allows for us to be fully alive, and to inspire others to overcome the fear that threatens to limit them to half-life in the shadows. Those who dare to trust the divine call rather than human structures help reveal the limitless possibility that is our God.

This Christmas, we honor the parents, grandparents, siblings, children, relatives, friends, and community members who embrace LGBT people as who we are. The love, acceptance, and affirmation that is extended by so many is light and love that lifts us all, and inspires us to strive beyond what we believe ourselves capable of. This enlargement of the concept of family builds unity, and is our best hope for peace.

This Christmas, we celebrate all who dare to defy social expectations and who give of themselves for the good of others. To those who believe that the purpose of life is to serve the world, rather than self-enrichment, your light brings warmth and brilliance to those in the darkness. Your unexpected generosity is grace and healing.

You are the balm, the peace, the trust that our world aches to know. You are the spirit of Christmas, of Heaven alive on Earth, all throughout the year. May you experience this amazing grace in all of your Christmas celebrations.