Rome (Italy). “I proclaim to you good news of great joy!”  (Luke 2: 10).  This is the Message of Christmas Greetings from the Mother General of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, Sr. Yvonne Reungoat.

Here is the proclamation of the Angel to the shepherds: our life has been redeemed by the certainty of the Savior.  Each year, Christmas brings  us the renewed awareness that salvation is not an event that happened once and for all, but one that is renewed and actualized from generation to generation for every person who lives in the world, whether they know it or not.

God became human to share our whole existence.  This gives us joy, peace, security, hope.  It allows us to gaze with optimism on our life and on the life of the world to which we are sent.

A proclamation of hope

We know that the history of the world has already been redeemed; that Jesus has recapitulated in Himself all the tears, the cries of desperation, that rise up from men and women on this earth, in every epoch of history, and has transformed them into songs of resurrection.

I wish to invite you to look at the signs of the Kingdom that comes.  They are not lacking, even if they do not make noise, if they do not appear in the headlines of the news and of the media.  They exist, and they are more numerous than the signs of death.  They may be small signs, immersed in daily life.  This is why Pope Francis speaks of ‘next-door holiness’ and lists the behaviors that may even seem obvious to us.

But there are also more evident signs, sometimes not directly religious or evangelical.

The sensitivity for integral ecology is a sign that is spreading.  The capacity for welcome and for integration is a sign that emerges in human communities, in families, in individual people.

A smiling relationship style capable of listening is a sign that rediscovers the fundamental values ​​of human coexistence.

Together as religious men and women

The growing attention to relationships and collaboration between religions is a sign. 2019 was marked positively by the signing of the Document on Human Brotherhood for world peace and communal coexistence.

In a society that is highly suspicious of the followers of Islam, it has become a force for dialogue, has allowed us to discover clearly how faiths can converge in respect for the human person, in the will to serve, in the repudiation of violence and war, in mutual acceptance.

It is a response to the invitation of St. John XXIII to seek what unites us, what makes us discover ourselves as children of the same Father, because habits, cultures, practical choices are influenced by the diversity of times, places, conditions of life (cf. Greeting of the Holy Father John XXIII to the faithful participating in the torchlight procession on the occasion of the opening of the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Rome, 11 October 1962).

“I proclaim to you great joy!” 

Yes, it is possible to exult and intone the ‘Gloria’ even in our times, because the coming of Jesus is real, albeit often hidden as in Bethlehem. When the Angels proclaimed it to the shepherds, they gave a very simple sign: “a Child wrapped in swaddling clothes and placed in a manger.”

To welcome Him we must have a poor and simple heart like that of the shepherds, able to read the ‘signs’ through natural events such like that of the Magi; humble in adoration and obedient like that of Joseph and Mary.

Christmas fills us with joy and this is why we are able to recognize the Baby in the people around us, in the seeds of the Kingdom spread throughout the world, in the cultures to which we belong, even when they need to be evangelized or re-evangelized, in the journey of our communities and of the Institute, in the joy of welcoming and accompanying new vocations, and of being sisters attentive to the One who has given us everything

“I proclaim to you great joy!” 

The joy of knowing that history has already been redeemed, that the world is already the ‘place’ of the presence of Christ, that in the hearts of many of our brothers and sisters, there is a nostalgia for the good opening the road to grace, that in every baby who comes into the world there is a bit of Christmas.

“I proclaim to you great joy!” 

Mercy became flesh, sin is canceled out, enmities vanish, and reconciliation is the normal condition of relationships among the peoples.

“I proclaim to you great joy!” 

The history of our Institute is part of a current of good that crosses the millennia of human life.  The great joy that the Angels proclaimed is what we are already celebrating.  ‘Let us thank the Lord who grants us many graces!’   I invite you to recall Mother Mazzarello, how at the beginning the Lord had given ‘great graces,’ and that the whole story of these 150 years is woven with ‘Grace.’ We are invited to continue this Litany of Joy.  Each one of us is called to proclaim it to everyone we meet, every day, not only at Christmas.

I wish everyone to be filled with this joy, that no effort, no disappointment, no pain may cloud this joy!

May the Institute of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians be a grand proclamation of joy in the whole world!  May Your families, lay collaborators, young people experience it and proclaim it in their turn, so that Christmas 2019 will mark a bright stage in their life.

May the proclamation of joy reach those who do not know Christ or do not believe in His divinity and transfigure their existence!

May the proclamation of the joy of Christmas resound with notes of gratitude for the Rector Major Don Ángel Fernández Artime, for the Salesian confreres and all the priests who gift us with their ministry, for the Bishops of the Dioceses

May the proclamation of joy reach all the educating communities in the world.

Merry Christmas and Holy 2020!

Rome, 24 December 2019                          Superior General Sr. Yvonne Reungoat, FMA


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.