Dear Brothers and Sisters, In this Christmas season, the Church celebrates the mystery of the incarnation of the Son of God and his revelation as the Saviour of the world. From the witness of Scripture and the Church’s tradition, we see that our first reaction to the birth of Jesus should be one of joy, in the knowledge that God has assumed our humanity in order to make us sharers in his own divine life.
The contemplation of this “wondrous exchange”, which we experience most powerfully in the Eucharist, invites us to recognize our lofty dignity as God’s adopted sons and daughters. The liturgy teaches us that Christmas is a feast of light, for Christ, the light of the world and the radiance of the Father’s glory, has brought us from darkness into his Kingdom of light and called us to bring the light of the Gospel to every creature. During this Christmas season, may we welcome the Newborn Saviour into our hearts and may our lives be transformed by his gifts of joy, newness and light.
I am pleased to greet all the English-speaking visitors present, including the pilgrimage groups from Wales, Australia and the United States. I offer a special greeting to the priests and seminarians of the Pontifical College Josephinum. My welcome also goes to the La Salette Brothers taking part in a programme of spiritual renewal. I thank the choirs for their praise of God in song. Upon all of you and your families I invoke the Lord’s blessings of joy, peace and prosperity for the year which has just begun. Happy New Year!