ROME, DEC. 22, 2010 (Zenit.org).- Christmas should remind us that Christ continues to have need of someone who will protect and defend him, says Benedict XVI’s secretary of state.
Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone said this Tuesday during a Christmas visit to the community of the pediatric hospital “Bambino Gesu,” reported the semi-official Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano.
“It is for me a motive of particular joy to be here in your midst a few days before the celebration of the Birth of the Lord,” the cardinal said. “In fact, if Jesus the Son of God made man makes himself present in every heart and home, he makes himself even more present in this place.
“The hospital’s name also evokes the sweet figure of God made a Child and so it becomes more spontaneous to celebrate here an authentic Christmas. In fact, in the smile of children and also in the faces marked by suffering, it is easier to perceive the luminous face of the Babe of Bethlehem, who came to alleviate the sufferings of humanity and to bring to all the gift of salvation and peace.”
Cardinal Bertone noted that the birth of Christ “happened while Mary and Joseph were far from home to obey the laws of men; it happened in a stable, in precariousness, in poverty, but also in the luminous happiness of Mary and the adoring happiness of Joseph.”
“The popular reconstruction of the nativity scene, born from contemplation of the mystery of Christmas,” he continued, “is all the more thought-provoking and true: if there was nothing in the grotto where Jesus was born, there was however the whole of humanity in Mary and Joseph, and also the whole universe in those animals that were there to express the whole of creation.
“After the birth the angels announced to the world the event of the holy night, because Jesus was born to be seen, and so the shepherds arrived to see the face of the Lord and contemplated God in human frailty, in the defenseless condition of a newborn; they contemplated the splendor of the divinity in the most total deprivation and returned to their flocks thanking and praising God for what they had seen.”
Also in this Christmas of 2010, the cardinal affirmed, Jesus is born “and continues to be in need of maternal love, of warmth that will protect and defend him. Whoever receives Christ must receive him this way.”
“Let us not permit our society,” he concluded, “which is brilliant with lights in homes and in squares, but is unable to contemplate Christ, light of the world, to take away the joy that comes from the celebration of the true birth of Christ.”