THE FOLLOWING IS THIS YEAR’S CHRISTMAS MESSAGE from Cardinal Mauro Piacenza, president of Aid to the Church in Need:
Before becoming incarnate in a human body, in our humanity, God became incarnate and lowered himself using our word. The Word of God is our very own word; the process of the Divine Incarnation begins already with the Bible. God has revealed himself, has made himself present in a man.
Christianity is not a religion merely of the spirit. It is a religion linked essentially to the body as well. We are truly of Christ if we truly accept the “sacrament” of his Humanity. Our contact with God passes by way of the Humanity of Christ. We are always careful not to transform Christianity into a gnosis, a moral doctrine.
Recognizing that God has come in the flesh is the ultimate paradox. One of the most serious temptations is undoubtedly that of transforming Christianity into a set of moral guidelines, of teachings, into a purely social aid campaign, an NGO—and the Pope has repeated this warning many times. We must be very careful about this, because the secular mentality, driven, we can say, by all the media, tends in this very direction. We must not allow ourselves to be swept away by this tide. We must remind ourselves of this, remind our management, reflect it in our choices, in our way of being Aid to the Church in Need.
The One who saves is God alone, and God has come in the flesh. The greatest danger is to become detached from a real relationship with Christ. It is only in Christ that God guarantees a value to my actions, to my life. Let us seek to recognize the Lord in every situation in life so that we can enter into an ever more concrete relationship with Him. We must seek to found everything we do and say on the testimony of the Gospel, so as to live at every moment in the light of His Presence. May the Blessed Virgin Mary assist us in this!
No creature has ever lived, or ever could live, in a more intimate relationship with Jesus than Mary did. Through this relationship, Jesus is the Son of Mary, and also the brother of every man and woman. Truly he is one of us! This is the fundamental idea of Fratelli Tutti.
The Mother of God likewise becomes the Mother of all men, of every one of us, because her Son is the man who is One with all. In every human being that is born, God enters into the world. All the life of men and of humanity is summed up and exists in the act of the generation of Christ.
With this brief thought and the assurance of my remembrance in prayers before the Manger, I extend to all of you, your families, and to all those you hold in your hearts my heartfelt wishes for a truly Holy Christmas!
SOURCE Aid to the Church in Need. Published with permission.