Vatican City (AsiaNews) - Christmas which "illuminates the darkness that often surrounds our world and our hearts and brings hope and joy" is the celebration of an "unsettling mystery": the Son of God became incarnate. It "brings with it hope and joy to our hearts, because each time it gifts us the certainty that, even though we often feel weak, poor, unable to face the challenges and evil in the world, the power of God always works and works wonders even in weakness. His grace is our strength".
Benedict XVI reflected on the question that Pilate asked Jesus: "where are you from?" before eight thousand people in the Vatican in the first general audience of 2013.
"Of course, Jesus is from Nazareth and born in Bethlehem, but where did he come from?". A question that is bound to lead to another, before the light coming from the cave: "How can the small and weak child have brought such radical novelty to the world to change the course of history?".
The answer is that "his true origin is the Father, he comes from him, but in a very different way from that of any prophet sent by God or that have preceded it." As the Gospels tells the angel Gabriel announces: "(Lk 1:35). We repeat these words every time we recite the Creed, the profession of faith: "et incarnatus est de Spiritu Sancto, ex Maria Virgine," "by the power of the Holy Spirit he was born of the Virgin Mary". In this sentence we bow our heads for the veil that hid God is, so to speak, lifted and his unfathomable and inaccessible mystery touches us directly: God becomes Emmanuel, "God with us".
"This affirmation in the Creed is not about the eternal being of God, but rather speaks of an action which takes part in the three divine Persons and that is realised "ex Maria Virgine". Without her, the entry of God into human history would not have come to its end and that which is central to our profession of faith, would not have taken place: God is a God with us. Thus Mary belongs in an essential way to our faith in the God who acts, who intervenes in history. She offers her whole person, "agrees" to become the dwelling place of God".
"Sometimes, even in the journey and life of faith we can feel our poverty, our inadequacy in the face of the witness to offer the world. But God chose a humble woman, in an unknown village, in one of the most distant provinces of the great Roman Empire. Always, even in the midst of the most difficult problems to face, we must trust in God, renewing faith in His presence and action in our history, like in that of Mary. Nothing is impossible with God! With him, our lives always walk on solid ground and are open to a future of firm hope".