In the Christmas video message from the General Curia of the Congregation of the Mission Fr. Gregory Gay, Superior General says: “We’d like to share with you our understanding of what Christmas means in different languages and from different cultures.” Watch and listen to short reflections from various members of the Curia [English subtitles throughout]:
Read the transcript of the message:
[Most Rev. Gregory Gay CM, Superior General] Welcome all to the Curia of the Congregation of the Mission. We’d like to share with you our understanding of what Christmas means in different languages and from different cultures. In these days I listen to a song Reggae Rap by a group called “Calle 13″ (13th Street). The song is about street children. And one of the verses that struck me deeply was when the singer said I am nothing, without life, but breathing. For us the message of Christmas is that God comes to us and he says to us, we are more than something, we are who we are, we are his children, and we do breathe, we breathe with that love and share one with another and we are alive, alive with his grace. That’s the message of Christmas. And we hope that we as Vincentian Family can share one with another and especially with our Lords and Masters.
[Rev. Giuseppe Turati CM, Secretary General] Also this year, Christmas message finds us in the time of deep social, political, crisis; international political instability when economic turn down continues in Europe, when many stay without jobs, unemployed, without certain future. Indeed, we have reasons to believe in desparation and to be pessimistic. However, the Christmas message brings us joy naad hope again. The people walking in the shadow of death have seen a great light; on those living in the land of darkness a light has dawned. These words of the prophet Isaiah are not plain words. They are message repeated during whole Advent which we are living in now. They are the message announcing Incarnation of Jesus Christ. And that light which comes from Christ, which enlightens and warms wounded hearts, lukewarm because of many sadness of our lives. I wish all members of the Vincentin Fsmily spread around the world let you be that light for people of\our time, and especially discouraged, most oppressed by poverty, most prisoners by the darkness of despair. Let it be true in all messages that we share these days.
[Rev. Javier Alvarez CM, Vicar General] We’re already in Christmas. In the letter to Titus, Saint Paul speaks about the Incarnation in terms of grace that leads us to salvation. Us, the people. Grace and Salvation, are the terms. Grace, because it is a great gift, a grand offering which God has given to humankind. to come among us and stay with us for ever. It is a good, always fresh and always alive, and should bring joy to all at Christmas, at this Christmas fro example. And the Incarnation in the term of salvation. The Salvation which is understood and sensed as total and complete. Salvation in an eschatoligical sense, an eternal salvation, but also as a humanization. The Incaarnation is a path to humanization. As a reuslt of the Incarnation we are able to call ourselves brothers and sisters. Blessed Christmas to all the Vincentian Family.
[Rev. Thomas Lunot CM] Listening to this song “I will praise the Mercy of the Lord forever”, I recall the Letter of St. Paul to Ephesians, where he says us, that God is rich in mercy. This time of Christmas reminds us, that mercy is in the face of a child, marked by amezement and joy. The Exhortation of Pope Francis reminds us how much joy is the heart of Christian lilfe.
Also, in the same Letter to Ephesians St. Paul reminds us, that the mission of this Child consists of reconciliation, which God grants us through the cross. During this time of Christmas we ask for transferring this experience of the cross to all ipersons in distress. To whom our Founder, St. Vincent de Paul instructed us to pay special attention and stay in solidarrity wwith them. Eech one according to their abilities, in collaboation with God’s grace.
[Rev. Stanislav Zontak CM, Assistant General] Glory be to the God in the highest and peace on Earth to people of good will. God has decided to show His glory, do that He came among us. He took human nature. As foretold He lowered His divinity to our human naturę? And thus He enriched us. Every one of us has the opportunity to enter into this background. We are able to to draw from this background And to become even younger and better, We can have peace in our life, in our heart. Let us live this holidays well. Let us receive the Good News of Jesus Christ, who lives us. And became one of us, to bring us to Him. Blessed holidays to all.
[Rev. Eli Chaves CM, Assistant General] Hello, everyone! Here we are together to invite all of you to prepare ourselves well for Christmas. Looking at the crib, the picture of the shepherds comes to mind. Luke tells us that, informed by the angels, the shepherds ran to Bethlehem and met Joseph, Mary and the Child. The Good News announced by Jesus is welcomed, in first place, by those who are poor. The shepherds represent those who are poor and despised because they couldn’t fulfill the Law of Moses. They are discriminated against and Jesus comes for them. Like the shepherds, let’s run to Bethlehem to welcome the Good News of Jesus; Good News of liberation and of a new life of inclusion, justice and peace. Let’s go the meet Jesus and renew our commitment to love and serve Him working for a world of inclusion in justice, love and peace. Happy Christmas to you all!