"When all is said and done, Brownsville Diocese Bishop Daniel Flores said, the main thing we focus on (during Christmas) is that this is the time when we celebrate the birth of the Christ child."
It's been said many times that Christ is the reason for the season, yet as Bishop Flores said, the reason can sometimes be put on the back burner after all the shopping, cooking and holiday festivities.
"We really give gifts because we know that the coming of Christ is the great gift of that God has given to us, Flores said. That inspires in us to remember people and give them gifts to show that we are grateful to that."
During his first year as head of the Diocese, Bishop Flores said he's spent many hours visiting with the people of the Valley and has discovered that people here put much more value on things other than gifts.
"There's a great emphasis on just being grateful for our families and that people are very conscious of the fact that life is a gift, Flores said. And that we should appreciate as much as we can the people in our lives, especially the children.
Bishop Flores TMs first Mass as head of the Brownsville Diocese at the Immaculate Conception Cathedral on Christmas Eve focused on Jesus Christ as the source of hope, encouragement and love.
"We know that ultimately God triumphs in his love and that's an important message, Flores said. It's a source of our hope as we struggle through life, but really the gift of love is what God gives to us in Christ Jesus and it's the gift we want to be able to give to each other."
With the coming of the New Year, Bishop Flores said he hopes everyone will make a resolution to be more loving, patient and set a better example for youth.
"In a special way the grace of that the Lord gives us at Christmas time is to just return to having the heart of a child and just be grateful for the beauty of god's love for us," Flores said.