The child who lies in the manger, helpless and dependent on those around him to be fed, clothed and sustained, remains the creator and ruler of the universe. Yet, in taking on human nature, he is helpless so that we may take him into our care. The poverty of the Christ child and his parents, their loneliness and dereliction at Bethlehem, their need for the basics in life – food, clothing and shelter – are as real as our own needs and our own limitations.
Emmanuel, God with us, has embraced our poverty and sorrow out of love for us, in order to give us his riches and his joy. He has become as poor as the poorest of us, that no one may be held back from him, no matter what their circumstances. What can be more evident than this love for us.
At this Christmastime, when we are bombarded by materialism and the encouragement to spend and accumulate, we need to be aware of all those around us in need. Let us identify with them in their poverty, just as Christ did at Bethlehem.
Thank you for all you have done to show God’s love during this past year – for your loving and faithful service to the poor under the umbrella of SSVP this year. It has been another difficult year, with continued hardship for so many. Thank you for continuing to share God’s love with the poorest of the poor.
May you be given the strength, courage and joy to keep serving God in the poor in 2023.
My Christmas wish for you is that your hearts, homes and families be filled with all the peace, joy and love of this festive season. For those travelling, I wish you a safe journey. Best wishes for 2023.
Kind Regards and God Bless
Your Brother in St Vincent and BL Frederic Ozanam