Tomorrow we will celebrate the Nativity of the Lord, a truly holy day that is certainly filled with much sentiment for children and adults of all ages, but whose meaning comes from a Child, a newborn Baby. With eagerness we wait for Christmas and ready ourselves with joyful anticipation, counting the hours and even the minutes to the holy night of Bethlehem.
The stable and the manger literally set the stage for the drama of Christmas. In every corner of the world the faithful set up the crib at home and in the parish, recreating the setting in which the Savior was born. Like the shepherds on the night of Jesus’ birth and the Magi arriving from the distant East, we too seek to honor the Child whose arrival, some nine months after his incarnation, changed the world.
As on pilgrimage, we stop to lovingly gaze in awe and wonder upon the infant Child so peacefully laying upon the hay, wrapped in swaddling clothes. We look at Mary, Jesus’ mother, and beloved Saint Joseph, our Savior’s faithful guardian, and contemplate not only the Holy Family but also our own family, the family in which we came into the world.
I still experience the peaceful feelings of Christmas. It remains my favorite time of the year; a time and feeling I wish would never end. I love the beautiful and moving Christmas carols, which by tradition are sung around the crib! What profound thoughts they contain, and above all what joy and tenderness they express about the divine Child who came into the world that holy night.
A child should represent the joy not only of his parents but also of the Church and of society. Unfortunately, today many children are not welcomed with joy. Very sadly, many suffer rejection and violence from the very ones who should protect, love, and embrace them.
People cannot live without the gift of love. They need the message proclaimed from the crib — and from the cross. In order to love God and neighbor properly, they must first know that God loves them. This is where we enter the conversation. In a world often filled with discouragement, fear, and doubt, HLI’s mission, day in and day out, is to proclaim a single transforming message about life and its meaning: “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life” (John 3:16).
Thank you for standing up for life and family. I am grateful for your faithful prayers and support of HLI’s mission and our selfless missionaries in the field. Without you and the love we proclaim, many more lives would be lost.
Together, we are making a difference!
On behalf of HLI’s staff, Regional Directors, Affiliates, and global pro-life family, I pray that the Christmas Season will be most joyous for you and your family, filled with love and a renewed hope that can only be found in the Christ Child.
Fr. Shenan J. Boquet has served as president of Human Life International since 2011. He was ordained in 1993 as a priest of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux, Louisiana. As HLI’s president, Fr. Boquet collaborates with fellow laborers in the pro-life and family movement in over 80 countries, offering the Sacraments, giving seminars and trainings, appearing on numerous media outlets, and encouraging people of all walks of life to live as faithful advocates for a Culture of Life and Love. He is available for interviews and bookings on behalf of HLI by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.