Christmas Message 2005

Today in the town of David, a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. And here is a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger. Luke 2: 11-12

Dear brothers and sisters,
Today, as in days gone past,
the Lord comes to shake up our expectations:
We were expecting a king, and behold a new born.
We were expecting the glory of the Messiah, and behold,
a manger instead of a throne;
We expected peace, and behold, a world lacerated,
churches divided, and our hearts confused;
Let us therefore allow this word to reverberate in us:
Today, on this Christmas night, there is born for us a savior.
He is the Messiah, the Lord, the Prince of Peace.
We do not doubt that this word is real for us today,
because this day, the Word is made flesh,
and it is up to us to make it resound in our hearts.
Who is my mother, who are my brothers? Those that hear the word of God and put it into practice.
LUKE 8:9-21
Today it is our responsibility to be mother and brothers
of Jesus our Savior.
We are called, today, to build his reign of peace.
Here, in this holy land disfigured as is the rest of the world.
Let us act that in such a way that every day the Word might grow in us; that the knowledge of the Son of God fully mature with the fullness of Christ himself (cf. Ephesians 4:13).
Is this a task too hard?
The philosopher and mystic Simone Weil wrote: “We love the world as it is. It is our reality, but it offers resistance to love.”
Let us not be made afraid by our resistance to love
nor by that resistance that we encounter in others.
Our resistance and theirs is a sign of our humanity.
The same humanity, which for love, on Christmas night,
the Messiah came to renew.
In this holy land, as in any other holy land, we are called
to be guardians of the treasure that is offered to us
for life … and to help others live.
Today is born for us a Savior, let songs of joy burst forth, because the Lord has come to save his people. The Lord has shown the force of his arm before the eyes of all nations. And all the ends of the Earth have seen the salvation of our God (Isaiah 52:10).
Guardians of such a hope, we, the Franciscans of the Holy land, with all our hearts, wish all of you, dear brothers and sisters, a happy and holy Christmas.
Christmas, 2005