Rome (Italy). “Christmas! Mystery of great joy because the Savior of humanity was born”. On the afternoon of Sunday, December 18, 2016 at the Generalate of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians in Rome, the communities dependent on Mother (RMA) and the novices of the two International Novitiates gathered together for the exchange of Christmas greetings for Mother and the Sisters of the General Council. It is an appointment that is renewed every year but is always new because the awe is renewed with which we live the expectancy, the hopes that we hold in our heart, the gift that Jesus brings to each one: Himself.
A greeting of Joy! This was the golden thread of the harmony of voices, music, and words through which the Novices recounted the mystery of God who in Jesus became flesh among us. On the notes of the Ave Maria of Caccini-Vavilov they contemplated the expectant joy of Mary after the announcement of the angel; on the sweet melody of St. Alfonso Maria de Liguori, they accompanied the joy of those who visited the Baby Jesus. Finally, with the Ode to Joy of Beethoven, sang in various languages, they expressed their exultation for the coming of the Lord.
A greeting of Joy was expressed by the RMA communities. With music, lights, narration, and mime, they traversed the mystery of Jesus’ birth, Mary’s yes at the Angel’s message, the shepherds’ joy at the manger, and the Magi’s adoring awe, the flight into Egypt of the Holy Family, the promise fulfilled for Simeon and Anna in the Temple, the family of Nazareth - place of welcoming life, of education to values, school of prayer and of faith, dwelling of the poor of the earth and of the humble of heart. They ended with the desire of being “communities of the house of Nazareth where the God-Child awaits us to make us more sisters, more disciple missionaries, more Daughters of Mary Help of Christians”.
Mother and the Sisters of the Council received a symbol-gift of the human family called to reproduce the lineaments of the house of Nazareth. Mother Yvonne then spoke. “What does Jesus coming mean? Let us think of Syria, of the Congo, and many other parts from where we come in which the people are longing for Peace. This makes us live Christmas in reality. The fact that Jesus comes changes something. Where He is, there is a star that gives meaning. If He is absent, everything is dark, there is no horizon. Jesus’ coming changes the World. Our faith is deep because He sustains it. Let us ask Jesus to put Peace in our hearts. When peace is in us, the World grows. We are women of Peace. God relies on us to be a sign of Peace. We are privileged here because we can bear witness to being a family”.
Mother gave everyone the gift of Pope Francis’ Message for the 50th World Day of Peace on the theme “Non-violence: a political style for peace” and she said, “Christmas, is prayer, the reception of the gift of peace, and of the effort to make this gift grow in us and among us so that it may radiate in the whole Institute and in the World. Jesus helps us to see the seed of peace that is in our heart and make it develop, but also what there is to uproot so that peace may grow. I pray that with the grace of Jesus, each of us may make the journey so that peace may dwell in our heart and that all together we can make the culture of peace grow. May there be a Christmas of joy, of peace, of blessings…as we await a new year of peace!”.