The beauty of Christmas shows the care God has for us and our great dignity.
Did you know that you are unique and unrepeatable? This is a fact that we may intellectually know, but we often forget when everything seems to go wrong in our lives.
It appears that no one cares about us and that our lives are useless, just another “number.”
Yet, the mystery of Christmas clearly shows to us that we are not useless, but are in fact unique and possess great dignity.
Pope Benedict XVI reflected on this reality during an Advent homily in 2010.
The Incarnation reveals to us, with intense light and in a surprising way, that every human life has a very lofty and incomparable dignity.
God did not unite himself to any other animal on earth, but to humans, reinforcing the fact that we are unique among all living things.
In comparison with all the other living beings that populate the earth man has an unmistakable originality. He is presented as the one unique being, endowed with intelligence and free will, as well as consisting of material reality. He lives simultaneously and inseparably in both the spiritual and the corporal dimension. God loves us deeply, totally and without making distinctions. He calls us to friendship with him, he makes us part of a reality beyond every imagination and every thought and word: his divine life itself.With feeling and gratitude, let us be aware of the value of every human person’s incomparable dignity and of our great responsibility to all. “Christ, the final Adam,” the Second Vatican Council states, “by the revelation of the mystery of the Father and his love, fully reveals man to man himself and makes his supreme calling clear … by his Incarnation, the Son of God has in a certain way united himself with each man” (Gaudium et Spes, n. 22).
Furthermore, the incarnation of Jesus reveals to us that we are unrepeatable, never to be treated as a “number” or “object,” but as a human person.
Believing in Jesus Christ also means seeing man in a new way, with trust and hope. Moreover, experience itself and right reason testify that the human being is capable of understanding and of wanting, conscious of himself and free, unrepeatable and irreplaceable, the summit of all earthly realities, and who demands to be recognized as a value in himself and deserves always to be accepted with respect and love.He is entitled not to be treated as an object to be possessed or a thing to be manipulated at will, and not to be exploited as a means for the benefit of others and their interests.
As we contemplate the many mysteries of Christmas, let us not forget the great dignity we are entrusted with and how we have an intimate connection to Jesus, who shared in our humanity. This raises us up above all living things and should propel us to live more virtuously, not only treating ourselves with respect, but seeing all other human beings in a similar light.
In the face of the sad view of injustices committed against human life, before and after birth, I make my own Pope John Paul II’s passionate appeal to the responsibility of each and every individual: “respect, protect, love and serve life, every human life! Only in this direction will you find justice, development, true freedom, peace and happiness!” (Encyclical Evangelium vitae, n. 5).