As we approach Christmas Day and the celebration of the birth of our Savior, I am happy to share with you a few thoughts as we also celebrate the first year of VITALity Catholic Healthcare Services of the Diocese of Camden. Our hearts and minds are certainly fixed on the joy and happiness that Christmas brings to our children and to all people of good will who see that sharing of love is the real purpose of Christmas.  Just as God shared His love with us through the gift of His Son, Jesus, born among us in the most humble conditions, we too, find cause to share ourselves with others during this festive season.  Christmas is a time of year where so many of us are touched by the grace of God to open our hearts to Him and to each other, by our acts of kindness and giving.  It’s amazing how much the celebration of this Child’s birth continues to change humanity.  Not just then, but continuously throughout the ages.  The human race is never again the same since this glorious birth.

At VITALity, we share in this celebration of God’s love, by our wishes for continued health and happiness to all the people we have touched in our first year of service. That number totals over 45,000 here in South Jersey.

And this Christmas we especially extend our heartfelt wishes of love and hope for those elderly among us and those persons with disabilities within our communities who often feel trapped in the vicious cycle of isolation. Let this Christmas be a time to experience God’s love through another’s caring action in your life.

I came across a beautiful commentary entitled “Are Your Grandparents Lonely?”, written by Sister Constance Veit, of the Little Sisters of the Poor, in Our Sunday Visitor. In it she offers some wonderful reflections how we, inspired by mercy, can let our loving presence be the gift we give others this Christmas:

If you are young, you can share God’s mercy this Christmas by patiently listening to your grandparents’ stories, or offering them a hand in a way that says, “You are important to me.”

If you are a grandparent, look to see which one of your children or grandchildren is waiting for your affirmation or your words of wisdom.

Even if you are infirm or in need and feel that you have nothing to give, you can still offer your smile, your thanks or a word of kindness to those who help you.

These simple actions can bring about the birth of a renewed spirit, or renewed life in us, that breaks down the walls of solitude that may have been built up over many years and open us up to the joy of Christmas and celebrate the birthday of Jesus – then in the manger and now in our hearts.

May God bless you and grant you His Peace this Christmas and throughout the New Year.

Deacon Jerry





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