By: Br. Nolevic H. Deloria, SC, DACS President
One of the great features of Christmas is GIFT-GIVING. Rightly so, because the reason for the season is to celebrate God’s generous love by giving Himself to us through His son Jesus Christ, our Savior and the greatest educator in history. Pope Francis when he addressed the members of the Society of Swiss Students on September 9, 2022 at the Vatican quoted Fr. Romano Guardini, a German priest and philosopher who once said: “Jesus Christ is the greatest educator in history: by the love of the Father and the action of the Holy Spirit, He brings us into being ‘from above,’ as He told Nicodemus (cf. Jn. 3:3). He frees us from the bondage of the self and opens us to the fullness of life in communion with God, with others, with creatures, and even with ourselves.”
Being born in a manger, He has taught us freedom from selfishness, greed and pride to become more available to everyone especially to the weak and those on the peripheries, the Anawim of God. Being born in a manger, He has taught us self-emptying to remind us to be in solidarity with those in need, to journey with them in suffering and joy, in failures and triumphs. Being born in a manger, He has taught us the essence of the fullness of life, that is, to be one with Self-Others-Nature-God in love and compassion.
In his encyclical Fratelli Tutti, Pope Francis has reminded us of the importance of serving others and working together for the common good. He writes:
“Solidarity finds concrete expression in service, which can take a variety of forms in an effort to care for others. And service in great part means “caring for vulnerability, for the vulnerable members of our families, our society, our people”. In offering such service, individuals learn to “set aside their own wishes and desires, their pursuit of power, before the concrete gaze of those who are most vulnerable”. Service is never ideological, for we do not serve ideas, we serve people” [Fratelli Tutti, no 115].
May our genuine service as an educating community in synodality for deeper solidarity be our greatest GIFT to humanity and all of creation. He has already shown us how.
Merry Christmas and a blessed 2023.