Dear Brothers and Sisters,
As the year comes to a close, I would like to thank you all for your loving and faithful service to the poor under the umbrella of SSVP this year. It has been another difficult year, with continued tragedy and hardship for so many. Thank you for continuing to dig deep, to make sacrifices and to share God’s love with the poorest of the poor.
I would like to share a few thoughts with you as we approach the blessed season of Christmas.
Firstly, God calls each one of us to ‘give birth’ to the holy in our lives. We may not ever experience physical pregnancy, but we can all be co-creators with God as we seek to bring Christ into the world. We are all invited to reveal God’s grace, mercy and love to those we meet in our everyday lives. Jesus is born every time we allow Him to be present in us.
Just as Mary was called to bear the Christ child, so too we are called and like Mary, God allows us to choose. With Mary, we may ask “how can this be?”, but if we agree, as she did, God will walk with us every step of the way. She could have replied “I am not worthy” or “I am too young, too poor, not well educated”. But she didn’t. Instead she said “Let it be …” As Mary discovered, agreeing to bearing Christ may require us to move outside the boundaries that society sets. It requires courage and infinite trust in God’s presence and love.
Secondly, Mary was open to the angel Gabriel, who brought God’s message to her. Who in our lives are God’s messengers? Who are those around us that God uses to touch our lives? Do we have eyes to see and hearts open to the wonder of God’s message for us?
In the midst of the advertisements, activities and frenetic pace that accompany this season, we have to prepare a place in our lives so that we can hear the news of the angels at this Christmas time. The news that Jesus Christ is coming and seeks to be born in us.
My prayer for each one of you is that, like Mary, you will be able to imagine the unimaginable and to conceive the unexpected. To let it be.
Wishing you and your loved ones a blessed and peaceful Christmas.
Your Brother in St Vincent and BL Frederic Ozanam
PETER KESHWAR: National President