Dear brothers and sisters,
I am happy to address you on this annual occasion of Christmas and New Year. These are the feasts of the family and many of you go to celebrate these solemnities with your family back home. To these faithful and to all who remain in our Vicariate, I wish a Holy Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Saint Bernard speaks about the three comings of Jesus. The first one has been in humility, in Bethlehem. There was no place for Him in the inn; He was born in a manger. This kind of coming was already a prophecy of His Passion and Death - rejected by His own people. No place for Him.
The third coming will be in glory, as the king of the world! No one can oppose Him, he is the Victor; all the powers of Satan will be defeated.
Saint Bernard says that between the first and the third coming there is a second one, which means: Jesus comes to me and to you in spirit during our life. He comes every day to every one of us to encourage us, to support us, to love us.
Why does Jesus have these feelings for us? Because He is love! Jesus is full of love for us, full of kindness, full of sweetness, He never judges us, He always defends us. He sent His Holy Spirit, the ďAdvocateĒ, Who when we fall, tells us: ďDonít worry, rise up!Ē He always forgives us, always supports us, He is full of compassion and love. Through Him the universe was created, He is the Lord. There is no person better, kinder or more saintly than Jesus. When He comes to us we will notice that our soul falls in love with Him with a love without limit, because he is the Creator of the Universe. We have to understand this: that God in His essence is love for you, for me. So, Jesus is waiting for us to open our doors, our hearts, for Him because He wants to be one with us. He created us because He wanted to give Himself to us, to me, to you.
This is the purpose of Christmas: that we discover once again that Jesus is love. How? By loving others! Jesus identifies Himself with any man or woman in the world. When we love any person, we love Jesus. Let this Christmas be the feast of our love for all, of reconciliation with all. Jesus has come just for that, to give us a new life, an abundant life where we can love even those we donít love or those who donít love us.
Merry Christmas to you all! Invite Jesus into your hearts!
+ Camillo Ballin, mccj
Apostolic Vicar of Northern Arabia (Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar and Saudi Arabia)