Today we celebrate the Epiphany of the Lord. This multi-faceted feast recalls, among other things, the visit of the Magi (or wise men) to the infant Jesus: “On entering the house they saw the child with Mary his mother. They prostrated themselves and did him homage. Then they opened their treasures and offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh” (Matt 2:11). The Magi were among the first, then, to recognize Who this Child was. Their experience is reminiscent of the classic hymn: “Infant holy, infant lowly, for his bed a cattle stall; oxen lowing, little knowing Christ the babe is Lord of all.”
Today’s Sunday Pope Quote reflects on the gift that every child is, a gift we are reminded of anew when we reflect on the gift of the holy Child Jesus.
Bl. John Paul II: The newborn child gives itself to its parents by the very fact of its coming into existence. Its existence is already a gift, the first gift of the Creator to the creature.
…But is it really true that the new human being is a gift for his parents? A gift for society? Apparently nothing seems to indicate this. On occasion the birth of a child appears to be a simple statistical fact, registered like so many other data in demographic records. It is true that for parents the birth of a child means more work, new financial burdens and further inconveniences, all of which can lead to the temptation not to want another birth…But is it really true that a child brings nothing to the family and society?
…The child becomes a gift to its brothers, sisters, parents and entire family. Its life becomes a gift for the very people who were givers of life and who cannot help but feel its presence, its sharing in their life and its contribution to their common good and to that of the community of the family.
Letter to Families, no. 11
About this series:
Every Sunday, the Marriage: Unique for a Reason blog will feature a short quote from either our current Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, or our late Holy Father, Bl. John Paul II. These two men have given the world an immense treasury of wisdom about marriage, love, and the meaning of the human person, all of which are topics integral to the Church’s witness today. Their words are well worth reflecting on, as we have much to learn from these wise successors of St. Peter.