Christmas Message (December 22, 2017)

Seeing God become a child, truly being a child, shows us the simplicity of God, who becomes a child for us. Also in seeing the newborn child in Bethlehem we come to know God’s way of being. God who is love, love for us. Therefore faith in his Birth is also faith in God’s love for us, for each one of us, as St. John says in one of his letters: “We know and believe the love God has for us” (1 Jn 4:16).

All Christians are called to be Christ’s presence among others. St. Josemaría used to say that we should be ipse Christus, Christ himself. How? By following what he himself told us: “The Son of man came not to be served but to serve” (Mt 20:28). Service. And a big part of this service means being people who bring peace in this world so ravaged by conflicts, so many divisions in families, etc. May the first service be spreading peace, being people who spread peace, which is in addition one of the Beatitudes. In the Beatitudes our Lord unites “spreading peace” with “being God’s children”: “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God” (Mt 5:9). Serving others by spreading peace —with understanding— and then, praying for peace in the world, so greatly needed.

I would also like to remind you that in the upcoming year, in 2018, a special synod will be held. We need to pray for what the Pope has in mind in convoking this synod. We already know in broad terms what this involves, namely fostering a wider awareness of the Christian vocation and the various vocations of self-giving to God. It is a question of discovering what God wants from each person, but not seeing it only as a question of reflecting, of discovering, but also of wanting. By praying a lot for the Pope’s intentions we are preparing for this synod. And we should also pray for an ever-greater awareness of the reality that we all have a vocation to sanctity, that we all need to discover what God wants of us. Everything that God asks from us is a gift that he gives us. So let us pray especially for young people, for those who when they sense God’s call think it means “giving a lot,” so that they may realize they receive much more, that everything they give is in reality a gift from God. We see this in the Pope (how he gives himself continually!), and that is what we have to do too.

I would like to send my greetings to everyone, and to relive with you, to hear once again, the angel’s announcement to the shepherds at Bethlehem: “I bring you good news of a great joy... for to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord” (Lk 2:10-11). Let us try to make this the source of our joy during these feast days, a joy based on this great announcement that the Savior has been born for us.

Romana, n. 65, July-December 2017, p. 312.

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