Last updated on December 23rd, 2020 at 04:27 pm
However simple or elaborate, each Nativity bespeaks the greatest force in the world: love. “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son”—and entrusted Him to a devoted mother who wrapped her precious infant in swaddling clothes and enfolded Him in the arms of her love. Sheltered and protected by Mary and Joseph, the Baby grew to become our Savior. It is a poignant reminder of every child’s need for both a mother and a father.
“Humanity owes its survival,” stated Archbishop Bernardito Auza, “to the choice women make not just to welcome children, but raise them to be virtuous and authentically human: mothers give children the trust and security they need to develop their personal identity and positive social bonds. Could there be a greater bond among humans than that between the mother and child? Our future is already mirrored in how we, as individuals and as a society, support mothers to raise strong and healthy families.”
In complementarity with such mothers, fathers give the “gift of love as role models, providers, and defenders,” explained President Ronald Reagan, by “fostering children’s physical and emotional growth, encouraging success, easing failure, maintaining family life, contributing vitally to the economy, and serving their communities.” Thus “fatherhood, after all, is about childhood” and “is all about the things that matter most—about love and new life, about trust and responsibility, about faithfulness to a family and to a calling.”
And by portraying God’s great gift of His Son, the Nativity also reminds us that, as Mother Teresa taught, every child “is a gift from God” and “is the beauty of God present in the world, that greatest gift to a family.” Thus “love begins at home.” And “if you want to bring happiness to the whole world, go home and love your family,” for “the way you help heal the world is that you start with your own family.”
At this Christmas as we join the wise men in worshipping the Baby born in Bethlehem, among the greatest gifts we can offer Him is our commitment to welcome every child as a divine gift, to support parents in their indispensable role, and to bring love and protection to the family. We at IOF wish you a very Merry Christmas and thank you for making possible our work to protect children, parents, and the family—the irreplaceable foundation of society and the hope of a world desperately in need of healing.