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Dear Sisters and Friends,
Affectionate greetings of Love, Hope, Peace and Joy to each and every one of you as we welcome the dawn of the Christmas Novena which reveals to us that the day of our redemption is close at hand. Around us there is so much of apparent preparations for Christmas – the melodious carols, the festive decorations, the Christmas shopping, etc., feelings and emotions that are joyful and happy. Yet in the midst of the chaotic external preparations, the humble Saviour came to earth to be born in a poor stable and to give us the message of His great love for humanity which surpasses every comfort and joy that the world gives.
We celebrate the nativity of our Saviour after a long awaited and desired expectation of His coming during the Advent Season with the thought of a God who is made man for our sake and for our salvation, a God who comes to dwell with us in human form, a God who chooses to walk with us and to enter into our history. By His birth in human flesh, God made himself close to every person who seeks him. The incarnation of our Saviour is a day of splendid light and intimate joy, the good news that always surprises us and an announcement that gives us new opportunities and grace for radical newness. Christmas is above all the time and place in which we are called to a radical faith., to welcome the unexpected gift of God and not the rhythm of the calendar which we contemplate and celebrate every year. In the birth of our Saviour, we contemplate the goodness of God that always manifests itself to us, the tenderness of God that always gives Himself to us, the God who makes himself small and close to us in humility and silence, almost denouncing Himself of his divinity to make Himself our brother and journey companion. The Son of the Father, who came for us and for our salvation, makes all of us children loved by God and sharers in His own divine life and in this way becomes the light that illuminates human history. “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; on those who dwelt in a land of darkness a light shone”. The prophecy of the prophet Isaiah is fulfilled in the gift of the Son sent by the Father to save us, to illuminate our path, to give us peace.
The great event that took place in Bethlehem is the humility and silence of the holy night in which a Child was born- Jesus, the desired and awaited Messiah. Around that Child there was Mary, Joseph and the shepherds: all were amazed and, full of joy, they praised the Lord. We too, today, in our own time and history gather around this Child: the reason of our celebration, the protagonist of Christmas, is the Emmanuel- God with us. God’s plan of love is fulfilled over time; He is no longer to be searched for with difficulty but to be welcomed, He is no longer distant but He has come to be part of our humanity. God is in us with His love, His goodness and tenderness. We sing and praise God who in the gift of his beloved Son reveals and illuminates the mystery of man. As God’s beloved children born and redeemed by God’s love and partakers in His dignity, we truly become the sanctuary of God
and therefore we are called to cooperate in His life project and in His love. The great light of Christmas illuminates every human person who, despite weaknesses and darkness, is always loved by God. We are called with our life, with our fragile and precious humanity, to radiate God’s love, God’s holiness and God’s mercy. In the tender frailty of the Child who is born into our humanity, we are given this opportunity and grace to be reborn, to open ourselves to the gift of God to make use of the power of love and hope. May the light of Christmas illuminate the heart and mind of each one of us so that we can rediscover the path of life and love and recognize the true face of God who, out of pure love, made himself close to each one of us, supports and guides us. May all this become for us a daily occasion to grow in love and to nourish the joy and peace of Christmas.
Happy and Joyous Christmas and a Hope-filled New Year 2022!
Sr. Elizabeth George FMA