“Dear Brothers and Sisters,
In this Christmas season, we rejoice in the light which surrounds Christ’s birth, bringing a hope which transforms our life in this world. Each year our celebration leads us to reflect anew on Jesus’ identity as the only-begotten Son of God, who became man for our salvation.
Jesus is truly Emmanuel: “God among us”, born of the Virgin Mary. When we profess the mystery of the incarnation in the Creed, we bow our heads in awe and adoration. We acknowledge that the incarnation is the work of the three Persons of the Blessed Trinity, brought about through Mary’s free cooperation. The incarnation is the beginning of the new creation. Conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit, Christ is the new Adam who offers humanity rebirth in the waters of Baptism, by which we become sons and daughters of our heavenly Father. During this holy season, may we welcome the Saviour into our hearts, allow God’s power to strengthen and transform our weakness, and bear joyful witness to the dawning of the new creation.
I am pleased to greet all the English-speaking visitors present, including pilgrims from Norway, Japan, Vietnam and the United States. Upon 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!”