May peace and joy be everyone's future. Merry Christmas from the Community of Sant'Egidio
Jesus’ Christmas is announced by an angel that says that there will be great joy, a joy to be shared by the whole people. A sign is given: a baby wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger. A manger, which is usually the place for the animals. Yet Jesus is born precisely in such a humble and poor place.
A great joy. Christmas is a great feast. We can look at the future with hope and confidence.
When we talk about children being born, we immediately think of the future. The Eastern tradition speaks of a child rejuvenating humanity. At Christmas we will all be younger as we won’t look at ourselves, or at our problems, difficulties or our aging process. Rather, we will be looking at a child being born for us all. This child, like every child being born, brings great joy and cheerfulness. Also, a child can get us together around him, overcoming our loneliness. A child can brake the loneliness which many people unfortunately live, whether they are rich or poor, whether they are wealthy or are in difficulty. Loneliness can affect us all.
Instead, at Christmas we experience family, as we are all together. It is so beautiful to read in the Gospel about a joy shared by the whole people. For Sant'Egidio this is particularly true. Christmas is everyone’s feast because everyone is looking for the joy of Christmas. We will look for it here, in this Basilica of Santa Maria in Trastevere, in the great Christmas lunch that will also take place in many countries of the world and in so many different situations.
All people are seeking joy and future, even those one for whom Christmas does not have the same meaning as for us Christians. This is so beautiful, and very true. Indeed, Christmas unites the whole world, people and cultures, even those who don’t know Jesus. Everyone, at any age, has a need to see and hope for the future and experience joy. My wish is for this Christmas to be truly a Christmas of joy for all. Indeed, for all! This is the real sense of the Christmas Lunch of our Community. The true meaning of Christmas in which no one is excluded, where everyone is invited, where those who serve are mixed with those who are served. Where there is truly a place for everyone.
Everyone has the right not to be alone, at Christmas Day and every day. Everyone has the right to be joyful, and to have future. My thoughts especially go to the many migrants looking for a better future, and to all those countries and people still affected by war and violence.May peace be everyone's future. This is the wish coming from Sant'Egidio: a Christmas of joy, a Christmas of peace, a Christmas in which there is room for everyone.
President of the Community of Sant'Egidio
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