Christmas Message from Custos of the Holy Land

See, the LORD proclaims to the ends of the earth: Say to daughter Zion, your savior comes!” (Isaiah 62: 11-12)

Dear brothers and sisters and all people of good will, we are joyfully united to the voice of the prophet to proclaim not only to daughter Zion, but also to the whole world: Behold, your savior arrives, behold, today on this holy night and in this holy place, the Lord God comes to save us, making Himself become one of us, making himself God-with-us, Immanuel” (. Is 7: 14).

We repeat with the angels: “Do not be afraid; for behold, I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For today in the city of David a savior has been born for you who is Messiah and Lord” (Lk 2: 10-11).

Two thousand years have passed from when this voice rang out in the countryside in Bethlehem: and yet, time has not weakened this voice, because the word of God is present yesterday, today, and always. And today, as in that moment, the word comes back to speak to all people, but above all to the humble, to the poor, to those who, like the shepherds back then, in their smallness are more available to receive the revelation of a God that makes Himself into a baby, of a God that offers Himself to communicate with us, placing Himself at our same level.

What a sublime lesson of humility our God gave us! What a valid lesson even today for the whole world, but especially for this Holy Land, still with so much suffering!

We must put aside our egotisms and our interests; we must cross the barriers of incomprehension and of mutual diffidence; we must climb over the walls of fear and hate that still divide us: God gives us the ability to do this, the God that knocked down, here, on this night, every difference and every distance, reconciling Heaven with earth, the Creator with creature, making them coincide, making them One!

May the Lord Jesus, who is born tonight for us, give us the graces to be attentive disciples of His example, in order for us to be, in Him and like Him, craftsmen of reconciliation and peace.

I wish everyone, from the heart, a Holy and Merry Christmas!

Fr. Pierbattista Pizzaballa
Custos of the Holy Land