God’s sign is the baby, a child. God’s sign is that he makes himself small for us. He asks for our love, so he makes himself a child. He wants nothing from us other than our love, through which we spontaneously learn to enter into his feelings, his thoughts and his will – we learn to live with him and to practice with him that humility of renunciation that belongs to the very essence of love. He teaches us to love the weak. In this way he teaches us respect for children. The child of Bethlehem directs our gaze towards all children who suffer and are abused in the world, the born and the unborn. Towards children who are placed as soldiers in a violent world; towards children who have to beg; towards children who suffer deprivation and hunger; towards children who are orphans or unloved.
In all of these it is the Child of Bethlehem who is crying out to us; it is the God who has become small who appeals to us. Let us pray this night that the brightness of God’s love may enfold all these children. Let us ask God to help us do our part so that the dignity of children may be respected. May they all experience the light of love, which mankind needs so much more than the material necessities of life.*
Thank you so very much for all you have done for the children at the missions of the Religious Teachers Filippini. Your countless hours working for the orphans, the hundreds of miles you have run, biked, climbed and even baked will not go unrewarded. Your generosity in helping to feed, clothe, house and educate these children has truly made a difference in their lives. May you and your families be blessed in a most special way throughout this coming New Year. Be assured of the daily prayers and sacrifices of the Sisters throughout the world. We look forward to doing even more for these children in 2009!
*adapted from the 2006 Christmas Homily of Pope Benedict XVI