This year, I wish for Christmas to take on a very particular savour and meaning for us, because it comes in the middle of the year of preparation for the great Gathering at Fatima 2018. Christmas is much more than the feast of the anniversary of Jesus’ birthday! We celebrate the mystery of the incarnation! Two thousand years ago, the Son of God touched our history and this contact changed, from within, the meaning of space and time. History henceforward had a ‘before’ and an ‘after’ Jesus Christ’s birth. St Leo the Great, in a Christmas sermon, invites us to rediscover the meaning of our dignity. The value of each person is measured according to the intensity of God’s love for them. As Christians, we are servants of this mystery, this grace and this dignity. We are sent out like missionaries in order to remind everyone of the grandeur of our dignity, as beloved children of God, and for whom the incarnation of his Son is the sign and guarantee. In the grey environment in which we live, where human dignity is not always respected, our mission is to testify to man’s dignity, to the beauty and grandeur of couples and the family: man and woman truly are the masterpieces of creation. Elevated to the dignity of a sacrament, the Christian couple becomes an image, albeit imperfect, of Christ’s relationship to the Church.
Let us experience this Christmas in a different manner!
I wish you a Holy Nativity of the Lord!
Father José Jacinto Ferreira de Farias, scj
Spiritual Counsellor to the ERI