Dear Brothers and Sisters,
In this Christmas season, we celebrate the “Incarnation” –the mystery of the Son of God who “became flesh” (cf. Jn 1:14) for our salvation, so that we might become, in him, adoptive sons and daughters of our heavenly Father.
In the Child of Bethlehem, God gives us the greatest gift possible, the gift of himself. For our sake, God became one of us, sharing our human existence to the fullest and giving us in exchange a share in his own divine life. This great mystery reveals the reality and depth of God’s love for us. It also invites us to respond to him in a faith which accepts the truth of his word and shapes our daily lives. In contemplating the mystery of the Incarnation, we see in Christ the new Adam, the perfect man who inaugurates the new creation, restores our likeness to God and reveals our sublime human dignity and vocation (cf. Gaudium et Spes, 22). As we continue to reflect on this great mystery in these final days of Christmastide, may we rejoice ever more fully in the light of the Lord’s glory and be ever better conformed to the image of the Son of God made man.
I greet all the English-speaking visitors present, including the pilgrimage groups from Nigeria, Taiwan and Brazil. My cordial greeting goes to the Conference of Roman Catholic Cathedral Musicians from the United States. I also thank the choirs, including those from Saint Joseph University and from the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, for their praise of God in song. Upon all of you I invoke the Lord’s blessings of joy and peace!