Monday, January 1, 2018

Jesus Embraces Each One of Us

I would like to begin the year 2018 and mark the Octave of Christmas Week and the Solemnity of Mary the Mother of God with some words from the man whose ministry did so much to shape my own faith and my adherence to Jesus in the Church.

Jesus embraces each one of us with the Father's love. By taking our nature, Jesus enters into the history of each human being.

"We thank you, eternal Father, for the Motherhood of the Virgin Mary, who under the protection of Joseph, the carpenter of Nazareth, brought your Son into the world, in utter poverty. 'He came to his own home, and his own people received him not' (John 1:11).

"And yet, he received all of us from his very birth and embraced each one of us with the eternal love of the Father, with the love that saves man, that raises the human conscience from sin. In him we have reconciliation and the forgiveness of sins.

"We thank you heavenly Father, for the child laid in a manger: in him 'the goodness and loving-kindness of God our Savior appeared' (Titus 3:4). We thank you, eternal Father, for this love, which comes down like a frail infant into the history of each human being.

"We thank you, because, though he was rich, yet for our sake he became poor, so that by his poverty we might become rich (2 Cor. 8:9).

"Impel individuals and peoples to break down the wall of selfishness, of arrogance and hate, in order to open themselves to fraternal respect for all human beings, near or far, because they are people, brothers and sisters in Christ. Induce all individuals to offer the help necessary for those in need, to renew their own hearts in the grace of Christ the Redeemer."

~John Paul II, Message at St Peter’s Basilica, December 25, 1983


Painting is detail from Nativity, William Congdon