Christmas Message from the Vicar General

Dearest confreres,

my brothers and sisters who share in the same charism with us, and to the sick and the suffering people,

I wish to renew my best wishes for a Merry and Holy Christmas as well as to the Consultors to each one of you.

Christmas, the feast of the birth of Jesus, Savior of the world, is a sign that God’s grace has appeared on earth and to humanity who finds confirmation of not being alone in pursuing his or her destiny. God has intervened to illuminate our path; to free us from the slavery of sin and death and to walk with him towards the establishment of the kingdom of peace, love and mercy.

God makes himself a gift to humanity through the incarnation of his Son and calls him to share his joy, his love and to be part of his Family. As taught by the Bishop Emeritus of Carpi, Monsignor Francesco Cavina – “With the Incarnation the Lord of the universe presents himself to us unarmed and devoid of any sign of power to tell us that the only true power capable of saving humanity is that of love.” And as another bishop emeritus of Lanciano-Ortona, Monsignor Carlo Ghidelli, used to say, “The generosity of God becoming man should be matched by our generosity as brothers”.

The birth of our Savior and Lord takes place in poverty and humility, in a cave, in the cold. As the shepherds informed by the Angels of this birth, so we do, – “Let us therefore go to Bethlehem; let us see this event which the Lord has made known to us” (Luke 2:15). Like the shepherds and the wise men, let us go to Bethlehem, the Bethlehem of the little ones, of the poor, the sick, the lonely, the refugees, the terrified, the oppressed, the people who suffer exploitation of all kinds or who are affected by natural and human-made disasters. In those places we find Him safe, because as Monsignor Francesco Lambiasi said, “since Christmas, every face bears the imprint of Him, especially when it is the face of the poor, because from the poor God entered the world and from the poor, in a singular way, He let Himself be approached”. Camillo de Lellis and his companions understood this and committed themselves to serving and helping the poor and the sick with a mother’s heart and as they did to Jesus. They are examples for us because they teach us that Christmas is about love.

Let us make room for Jesus in our hearts and let us translate it into concrete help for our neighbors, into service for our neighbors, into welcoming our neighbors in need, into true love for everyone as Mary of Nazareth did for her cousin Elizabeth and Mary and Joseph did for the Son of God.

May the grace of Christmas help us, my dear ones, to meet our Savior, and to walk with Him; to understand that He is born for me, for you, for us as the angel had proclaimed to the shepherds: “Do not be afraid: behold, I announce to you a great joy, which will be for all the people: today in the city of David a Savior is born for you, who is Christ the Lord” (Lk 2:10-11). And as Pope Francis suggested to us on one occasion of Christmas (24 December 2019), “Let us pause before the Child of Bethlehem. Let us allow God’s tenderness to warm our hearts” because “Christmas reminds us that God continues to love every person, even the worst. To me, to you, to each one of us today he says: ‘I love you and I will always love you, you are precious in my eyes“.



Fr. Laurent Zoungrana, MI
Vicar General