Rome (Italy). On 23 December 2019, at the FMA Generalate in Rome, the Novices of the International Novitiates of Rome, Via Appia Nuova and Castelgandolfo, and the Communities of the Preprovince Mary Mother of the Church (RMC) in Rome, expressed their Christmas greetings to Mother General, Sister Yvonne Reungoat, and to the General Council.
“I greet you, hope,” from the poetry of Pablo Neruda, served as a leitmotif to the wishes of the Novices who, through singing and reading of texts by authors of different cultures – Federico García Lorca, Madeleine Delbrêl, Luigi Pirandello, Ismail Kadare, Mario Delpini, Sayed Hegab, Dante Alighieri – highlighted the gap in the contemporary world between those who have everything and those who have nothing, between those who can spend Christmas surrounded by the affection of loved ones and those who will spend it in solitude. The wish is to open the heart to the Love who becomes flesh and asks everyone to make room for Him.
Mother thanked and reciprocated, saying that every year we exchange greetings, “but every year is new. Let’s remember the incarnation of Jesus: through Jesus, God chooses to come among us. And I think we never get used to contemplating this Mystery, which is difficult to understand, but is to be welcomed as a gift. We need to contemplate this greatness of littleness all our lives so contrary to all human and worldly logic. We hope to enter with Jesus into this mystery of the choice of littleness, which is a choice of love. (…) We are called to live this mystery of the Incarnation like Jesus. Of course there is a big difference between us and him, but Jesus counts on us to be the sign of the incarnation, to make us one, one among the poorest, to collaborate in their salvation.”
In the Auditorium of the FMA Generalate, the communities of Mary Mother of the Church Preprovince (RMC): Blessed Eusebia Palomino, Mother Angela Vespa, the Pontifical Faculty of Educational Sciences Auxilium, Mary Domenica Mazzarello, Mother Ersilia Canta, Sister Teresa Valsè Pantellini addressed their wishes to Mother and the General Councilors with the representation entitled “From Cana of Galilee to Bethlehem to the world. With Mary, contemplating the admirable sign”.
At the center of the scene, there is an amphora, a reference to the passage from the Wedding at Cana, an icon of General Chapter XXIV. Through an interweaving of songs and texts on the meanings of the different amphorae, the communities of the Preprovince told each other: “At the ‘House of Bread’, festive and weekday, I/we amphorae are always full of inexhaustible treasures, refreshed by the incarnate Word. We fulfill our primary task: to preserve, to guard the treasure entrusted to us and to make its transport safe … so that each content will have the taste good wine!”.
The Superior of the Preprovince, Sr. Maria Del Carmen Canales, gave to Mother and to each of the General Councilors an icon depicting a detail of the mosaic of the Wedding at Cana of M.I. Rupnik of the Chapel of the Auxilium Faculty. She extended wishes that “Mary present in the crèche tells us as she did at Cana: ‘Do whatever He tells you!’ You can entrust to Mary the generative power of each Daughter of Mary Help of Christians and welcome with immense joy the life of the One who continues to be born in our contemporaneity, in the hearts of many young people, and in our humble person”.
Mother then concluded: “You have made a successful synthesis between Christmas and Cana. Jesus was the first to do what the Father told Him, to make Himself human, to make Himself small, poor, to manifest His love. He did it through Mary, who was the amphora par excellence and who invites us today to experience this same reality, to also be an amphora of all colors, of all types, but all empty, to be able to fill them and by filling them, be able to give to others. This incarnation of Jesus who comes on earth in littleness, we can never stop contemplating it, we can never understand it, we can only manage to welcome this reality, because it surpasses us (…). We can make the choice to be able to share the water or the good wine that is Jesus within us, who is incarnated in us continuously”.
On December 24, the Generalate Community expressed its Christmas greetings to Mother and the General Council with a time of contemplation and celebration composed of videos, texts, and dances entitled: “An encounter that transforms life. God accompanies His people on their earthly pilgrimage.” The stages in which God reveals Himself through His Son in the Incarnation and becomes our life companion were retraced. Nazareth, Ain Karim, Bethlehem, Egypt, Galilee, Jerusalem were the settings for reading the passages from the Gospels and Mother’s Circulars. The greetings to Mother and the Sisters of the Council highlighted their commitment to accompany, bringing them closer in their pilgrimage to all the Educating Communities of the world.
“It is truly the Christmas of the world and we have retraced the whole history of the incarnation, intertwined with our lives.” – commented Mother. “We have repeated many times in these days ‘Come Lord Jesus.’ Is it true that in our heart there is this cry for Jesus to come, or do we say just in words? Is it true that we are impatient for Jesus to come into our lives? If we look at the face of the world, history, we feel the need of a Savior, of a Redeemer, for more fraternity, more solidarity, more justice, more love, more peace, more happiness. (…) He trusts us to be a sign of His true Presence. It is not an idea, it is not utopia. Jesus is truly present in the history of humanity, in our life. The incarnation was not only once, it is continuous and He wants to continue it in us and through us, men and women of good will, also from other religions. (…) If He takes Himself away from history, then we will no longer have hope. But He is here, and He will be here. We must manifest Him with our life, speak of Him, proclaim Him, but above all, make the message credible, showing that something changes in our life. (…) Our joy is profound, but not so deep that it is not seen, a joy that manifests itself and above all that manifests itself in love, in the renewal of our faith. We carry in our prayer this expectation of the Savior for the whole world. We ask for the grace to always be searching and we ask Jesus to manifest Himself through us”.