“…for a son has been born for us, a son has been given to us, and dominion has been laid on his shoulders; and this is the name he has been given, ‘Wonder-Counsellor, Mighty-God, Eternal-Father, Prince-of-Peace” (Is 9:5)
Dear Members, Friends and Benefactors of the Catholic Biblical Federation,
One more year, we are preparing to celebrate the presence of God in our world – a presence wrapped and represented these days in the tender setting of lights and Christmas decorations.
But we are also preparing to celebrate Christmas in a context of an accumulation of human conflicts, wars and tragedies greater than in the entire history of humanity. The whole of humanity seems to be crying out louder than ever before, “Where is your God?” (Ps. 42: 3). And, in fact, with greater obstinacy than ever, many are devoting themselves to denying the existence of God, to ridiculing faith in Him and even to persecuting those who confess it.
And we, once again, present to the world a poor child born in a stable, amid animals, as the son of an immigrant couple. And we tell the world, “God chose those who by human standards are fools to shame the wise; he chose those who by human standards are weak to shame the strong, those who by human standards are common and contemptible — indeed those who count for nothing — to reduce to nothing all those that do count for something” (1 Cor 1:27-28).
The logic of the world and the logic of God – in these days we see how far apart the one is from the other, how annihilating is one and how liberating is the other. It would seem that the oracle of the Prophet Amos has been fulfilled: “The days are coming- declares the Lord Yahweh- when I shall send a famine on the country, not hunger for food, not thirst for water, but famine for hearing Yahweh’s word. People will stagger from sea to sea, will wander from the north to the east, searching for Yahweh’s word, but will not find it. ” (Am 8:11-12).
But God has not abandoned us, he has not remained silent – he is accompanying us and he is still speaking to us. “Something which has existed since the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our own eyes, which we have watched and touched with our own hands about the Word of life” (1 Jn:1,1) …let us announce this to others more boldly than ever, let us bring them hope, the Word of Life – the Word that became Life and that dwelt, and continues to dwell, among us.
Merry Christmas to all!
Fr. Jan J. Stefanów, svd
CBF General Secretary