In this time of uncertainty and precariousness, Holy Christmas appears as a comfort of certainty: the Lord is there and is with us, always.
My thoughts are daily with our Ukrainian friends, but also with those who flee their countries to seek a better life for themselves and their children in Europe. It is a time of reconstruction in the Church and in our religious and civil communities: we need to strengthen the foundations, to renew living testimonies of Gospel values.
There is an urgent need for the words solidarity, sharing, welcome, understanding, compassion to find new and strong declensions. There is an urgent need for credible, true, courageous witnesses. There is an urgent need for a living Gospel in the world.
Please, in your cribs – this Holy Christmas – let them all find space, let them breathe Gospel, embraces of consolation, glances that heal the wounds of divisions and indifference.
Tonight, 21 December, I shall pray at the tomb of St Nicholas with the Italian Bishops and the Orthodox Bishops of Russia and Ukraine that hearts may be converted and that Peace may return to Europe and to the whole world, an anticipation of the Kingdom.
So best wishes for peace and strength of witness for Holy Christmas and the New Year to you all, your families, your associations and especially your sick.
God bless you! All the best!