Our earthly life is described in a variety of ways with the help of metaphors and images. Some of us consider it a challenge and some of us view it as a battle or an opportunity. The Christian scripture looks at our life as a journey. The idea of pilgrimage or sacred travel runs deep in many religious traditions and more so in the Judaic tradition as we find in Ex 3,13-17. The paradigm shift that took place in the Catholic Church after the Second Vatican Council is from a Triumphal Church to a Pilgrim Church. The Church as the people of God is called to be a Pilgrim of Pilgrims. In this process each of us is requested to value the true sense or purpose of our pilgrimage: a true movement to God and our connectivity with others.
I feel one with you all at this juncture of nearing the celebration of the New Liturgical Year in our Catholic Church. We celebrate the Nativity of Our Lord or Christmas every year. But how close are we to a true movement toward God? And how are we connected with others who are true images and likenesses of the same creator who created us as individuals? Let’s be reminded of the single motive of Jesus’ entry into our world as a human. He entered into our world in order to enter into our lives. He came to share what we are, to give meaning to what we do, to heal the wounds, to give life. Are we prepared to let Him into our lives? From the Angel’s opening statement to the shepherds of Bethlehem in Lk 2,10, we derive the worth of the celebration of Christmas for three reasons: It is personal (I bring you), It is positive (Good news of great Joy), and It is universal (for all people).
Out of these three reasons, it is quite fitting for us Servants of Charity as Guanellians to make the Christmas celebration a universal one including everyone regardless of any differences like race, gender, caste, religion, physical fitness and so on. During the month of December every year we bring the differently-abled children (Buoni Figli) to the forefront in public by conducting various events for them and honoring them with the distribution of gifts. Is it a mere external celebration without a deeper meaning? Or is it a worthy celebration illustrating that each of us has received life as a most precious gift from God? Basically children are blessings to humanity and are to be treated as such. This becomes meaningful in our Christmas celebration as Jesus came for all. Hence, it is a mandate for us to respect, know and love them as equals. The birth of Baby Jesus our savior should be an event for these underprivileged to recall over and over. It is important that we bring hope into their lives and make their existence joyful.
We, as Servants of Charity, have initiated so many residences all over the world, caring for these differently-abled children whom we call – like our Founder – ‘Good Children.’ Without ever discriminating against them we are called to be sensitive to their originality as human beings created ‘in the image and likeness of God’ (Gen 1,27). By helping them enjoy and cherish the most precious gift of life from God we must learn to do the same with regard to our existence. In doing so we would be fulfilling our moral obligation to be pro-life in every aspect as our only Master, Jesus Christ, Who was Word become flesh (Jn 1:14). I wish you all a Pro-life Christmas celebration.


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