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Christmas Season 2022: 'God is indeed with us'

The birth of Jesus is the most powerful sign and message of hope in a world darkened by the shadows of fear and uncertainty. Each year, Vatican Radio brings you the voices of religious leaders and heads of Christian charitable organizations as they reflect upon the transformative power of the Good News that “Christ is born!” Today's message comes from Dr Donna Orsuto, Founder and Director of The Lay Centre in Rome.

Dr. Donna Orsuto, one of the founders and the current director of the Lay Centre in Rome, reflects that "God is indeed with us," reminding us that this is the gift we celebrate at Christmas. 

In her message for Christmas 2022, Dr. Orsuto invites us to "stop for a moment, gaze at the Christ Child, and consider the sheer immensity of God's gift to you and to all humanity."

Christmas 2022 - Dr Donna Orsuto

"God is Indeed with Us"
Dr Donna Orsuto's Message for Christmas 2022

During the Christmas liturgy, we will hear the words, “Behold, the virgin shall be with child and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel, which means ‘God is with us’”  (Mt 1:23).   The 12th-century Cistercian monk Aelred of Rievaulx reminds us that with the birth of Jesus we can truly affirm that "God is indeed with us."  Aelred continues:

Until now God was above us . . . .
but today Emmanuel, today God is with us. 
He is with us in our nature, with us in his grace;
He is with us in our weakness,
with us in his kindness;
He is with us in our wretchedness,
with us in his mercy,
He is with us in charity,
with us in loving care,
with us in affection,
with us in compassion.
O Emmanuel, O God with us!

This is the gift we celebrate this Christmas. 
Wherever you are in the world, whatever you are doing,
whether you are happy or sad,
busy or bored,
delighted or depressed,
stop for a moment, gaze at the Christ Child,
and consider the sheer immensity of God’s gift to you.

He brings a love that knows no bounds.  
He brings a love that is faithful from the womb to the tomb.
He brings a love that reaches to every corner of the world and especially to those who are suffering: those in hospitals, in war-torn zones, in situations of dire need.

Know that today, Emmanuel, God is with you.
Do not doubt his presence. 
He came as a baby more than 2,000 years ago
and He is coming now to you, this Christmas, if you but welcome him in your heart.

Stop for a moment, gaze at the Christ Child,
and consider the sheer immensity of God's gift to you and to all humanity.

Welcome him now and he will bring you his light, his peace, and his joy, wherever you are, whatever you are doing.

Donna Orsuto
Director, The Lay Centre at Foyer Unitas
Ordinary Professor, Institute of Spirituality, Pontifical Gregorian University

Dr Donna Orsuto
Dr Donna Orsuto

[i] Aelred of Rievaulx, The Liturgical Sermons, The Durham and Lincoln Collections, Sermons 47-84 (Collegeville: A Cistercian Publication/Liturgical Press, 2018), Sermon 57, p. 130.

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18 December 2022, 16:11