Christmas Message and the Greetings from the General Government
To all our dear Confreres, Redemptorist Bishops, Formandi, Lay associates of our Mission and Redemptorist oblates, Redemptorist Missionary Youth, Redemptorist Family, and Former Redemptorist Seminarians, with great joy, the General Government wishes a Christmas message of peace, joy, and love on this Christmas 2023.
Fr. Rogério Gomes, C.Ss.R, the Superior General, greets us with the message that as a community we are celebrating the great feast of Christmas, a feast that deeply touches the spirituality of our Redemptorist Family. Christmas is a message that is ever new, always surprising, because it surpasses our boldest hopes, especially because it is not only an announcement: it is an event, God manifests himself to us through his Son Jesus, through Mary. As we dedicate this year to community life, we must not forget the centrality of Jesus Christ in our lives and also how we relate to our brothers and sisters in the community.
He urges everyone to take care of his health by having a thorough medical checkup; as our physical, psychological, and spiritual well-being is fundamental to our missionary work. We need to take care of ourselves as individuals and as a community in order to be able to care for the poorest and most abandoned!
Fr. Zdzisław Francois Stanula, C.Ss.R., wishes all a very happy Christmas, to be the feast of hope, the feast of life, the feast of redemption. God takes pleasure in small things in the eyes of the world to confound the great in their conceit and presumptuous talk. Christmas is the feast of the small and the poor, but rich in great faith who live by hope. Let this also be our feast, not so much worldly but of change within, community-oriented and worthy of the family of Christ the Redeemer himself. If the hope of salvation flows from the Child placed in the manger, let us then love evangelical poverty, God’s great gift to each of us!
Fr. Nicolas Issifi Ayouba Martin, C.Ss.R., says, Christmas is the immense and profound joy that God was born to make us his children: brothers and sisters in Jesus, Emmanuel God with Us. May these Christmas celebrations strengthen your faith, bring you Peace, Joy, and Prosperity, and may all your dearest wishes come true. In this year dedicated to the Community, let’s take advantage of this favourable time to recharge our batteries together in the community. He wishes all happiness, health, and prosperity that God, through the intercession of Mary our Mother of Perpetual Help, fill you with his grace and bless you abundantly.
Fr. Jairo Díaz Rodríguez, C.Ss.R., wishes with the message that this Christmas God visits us in our families and in our communities. God comes to us in the people we know and in the strangers who may come to our door seeking help. This Christmas, may we recognize what is really important, that Jesus comes as our Redeemer, and as our brother, and that we are all brothers and sisters.
As Pope Francis says, at this time of the year, when we see the birth, of this little child there, entrusted to Mary and Joseph, we see the love of God that becomes flesh and knows no limits, knows no obstacles to communicate with us. In this year of Community Life, may God bless you and may you all love with peace and joy, reconciliation and hope to your families and to your communities.
Fr. Joseph Ivel Mendanha, C.Ss.R., recalls the 800 years of the first Crib at Greccio by Francis of Assisi that is brought alive at St Peter’s Square in the Vatican crib where St Francis gazing in wonder and awe at the little baby of Bethlehem, the gift of God, the glory of God in a human being, in the little baby, our Saviour and Redeemer.
Fr. Mendanha continues with the message of Pope Francis saying, “The crib brings the Gospel into the places of our lives: our homes, schools, workplaces, community centres, hospitals and clinics, prisons and squares, and for us Redemptorists in our communities.” In the crib, the Lord showed His love for us by being born as one of us. To make a crib “is to celebrate God’s closeness, and to rediscover that He is real, concrete and alive,” and the baby Jesus with open arms tells us that God came to embrace us in our humanity.
He wishes all this Christmas to be the God we experience as our Redeemer in the little baby, our God comes to be with us, born a human being like us, and may continue to accompany us in our lives each day and all through 2024.
Br. Laurence John Lujan Angel, C.Ss.R. wishes all blessings, joy, and light during this holy season. May the Lord Jesus, born on this day, be for all of you a light unto your path that you may continue to serve Him with joy, as you follow in his footsteps. Christ is born. Glorify Him with your life!
For Fr. Paul Lu’u Quang Bào Vinh, C.Ss.R., Christmas is the time of joy, love and peace for God is with us. He wishes all of us and our communities, our families and friends, a very pleasant and peaceful Christmas. His wish is that each one of us be a star of Christ shining His light of joy, love, and peace to everyone we meet especially the poor.
Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year 2024!