As Christians throughout the world prepare to celebrate the birth of Christ, I would like to wish you and your loved ones a most joyous Christmastide.
The words of the angels to the Shepherds keeping watch of their flocks by night bring us back to the most powerful meaning of Christmas.
Christ came to bring peace and to make it possible for us to glorify God in the highest way possible.
The second century doctor of the Church, St. Irenaeus of Lyons, taught that “the glory of God is man fully alive and the life of man is the vision of God!” Jesus came so that we might have life to the full and he made it possible for us to see God in the flesh, and — recognizing him wrapped in swaddling clothes — to be able to see his image more in each other.
And once we begin to see a reflection of God in each other, we start to notice the unsurpassable dignity every other person bears, what the famous hymn “O Holy Night” attests when it says about Jesus, “Till he appeared and the soul felt its worth.”
When we recognize the worth of our soul and every other person’s life, we’re on the lasting road of peace.
As we approach 2017, we pray that the peace Jesus Christ came to bring into the world may irradiate every heart, home and region, especially those areas that are suffering because of the scourge of war, terrorism, natural disaster and endemic poverty.
Thank you for all your support of our Mission as we seek to continue to labor for Christ’s gift of peace and for the human dignity of every man and woman, boy and girl.
Archbishop Bernardito C. Auza
Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the UN