Verona, Italy: “… The Word was made flesh... And dwelt among us” (Jn 1,14)
Dear Brothers and Sisters of the Calabrian Family,
The peace, joy and love of the Child Jesus fill our hearts and make them ever more capable of welcoming the Word made flesh, to witness to the world the prophecy of communion.
We are approaching the holy days of Christmas. The liturgy of this time helps us to reflect and to prepare our hearts to welcome the Word made flesh as a gift for our life. His Word urges us and opens us to a new way of living in this world and sharing with people, starting from the humanity of Jesus.
I am particularly struck by these two expressions of the incarnation of Jesus Christ, Word of the Father, described in John's prologue: "He became flesh" and "came to dwell among us".
In these few words of the Evangelist the most beautiful news of history is summarized and the highest and deepest synthesis of our faith and of the feast of Christmas. In these words the three essential traits of the identity of Jesus of Nazareth are affirmed: his humanity, his divinity and being a single human and divine person.
In his incarnate humanity there is an extraordinary unity, which manifests itself in communion with the Father and is expressed through his humanity, making deep contact with man, called to participate in communion with the Father.
In Jesus Christ, the Word of the Father, we find the fullness of divinity and humanity, as St. Paul reminds us when he writes to the Colossians: "In Christ dwells bodily the whole fullness of divinity" (Col 2: 9). Christ, the new man, is the source from which we originated and the end to which we are destined.
The evangelist indicates something extraordinary: our God asks every man to become the only true sanctuary from which to radiate his love, his holiness and his compassion. The Word became flesh in the weakness of human existence, and this means that there is no gift of God that does not pass through the flesh, through humanity.
Reflecting on this passage and on the mystery of Christmas, I clearly see a call to the prophecy of communion, which today more than ever is essential in the Church, and Christ himself tells us, who continues today to become flesh in us through his Word and to live among us in the sharing and assumption of our humanity. The God of Jesus asks to be welcomed to merge with man, to expand his capacity for love and communion, making him the only true sanctuary from which his love radiates.
The encounter with Christ is the beginning of every communion and of every authentic conversion. The human heart inhabited by the presence of Christ makes us more human and makes us deeply share the experience of love, which overcomes all personalism and selfishness.
His humanity embodied in each of us makes our hearts capable of creating space for communion, and of welcoming the other for what he is, not just for what he does; it pushes us to create spaces of sharing that allow us to live the life of God in us.
This Christmas help all of us, members of the Calabrian Family, to live a relationship of unity and communion with the One who in his humanity has made us sharers in his divinity, realizing for us his plan of salvation.
This is how father Calabria expressed himself in his exhortation in preparation for Holy Christmas: "Oh, what a great anniversary Holy Christmas is for all humanity!" As everyone enjoys and jubilates at this renewed event that calls us to relive that great day in which the Word of God took human flesh like us, left Paradise, the angels, the heavenly Court to clothe our remains, make ourselves little children and to be born in the depths of the night in a stable, in the most squalid misery. And all this, dear ones, for our love, to save us ... ". (Exhortation, 12/21/1925).
Let us stop and make space in our hearts, to be able to welcome the Word made flesh! May Jesus make his own feelings of unity and communion with the Father and with all humanity, which he needs so much, grow in us.
I take this opportunity to ask all of you to accompany with prayer the path we are taking in preparation for the XII General Chapter, which we will celebrate next year, and whose theme is "the prophecy of communion".
At the base of this prophecy is the action of the Holy Spirit, the engine and source of every unity and sharing.
Let us be surprised by the event of the Word made flesh that comes to dwell among us, so that it can build a new story, renewing our relationships and our way of being a Calabrian Family in the Church, because it is a luminous testimony of the Paternity of God.
I wish all of you and your families a Good and Holy Christmas!