RALEIGH (WTVD) -- Bishop Michael Burbidge of Raleigh shared with ABC11 what was on his heart this Christmas Eve. He said now more than ever, he hopes people can embrace the path of peace and reconciliation.
He talked about the amount and frequency of violence we're seeing in our community and across our country and how that plays on our fears and vulnerabilities.
But Burbidge said Christ has proven that he's stronger than the darkness and this Christmas, the bishop hopes more people will come back to God.
He talked about Pope Francis' visit to the U.S. in September and how it lit a fire under the faithful all throughout this diocese, motivating them to come back to the church.
Still, he emphasized that Pope Francis planted the seeds and it's up to the body of believers to continue the work.
"I think the Holy Father, his message of mercy, of compassion, that God is always ready, always ready to embrace us in love, that God never tires of forgiving us, that God is always looking out after those who have wandered away. And I think because he spoke that so consistently and so lovingly, people are responding," Burbidge said.
The bishop is leading mass in Fuquay-Varina at 6:30 p.m. and midnight mass at Sacred Heart Cathedral in downtown Raleigh.