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The word “Navidad” – which means Christmas in Spanish – has its origins in the words “nacimiento” (birth) and “nacer” (be born). It is the world’s number one and most celebrated Holiday. The true reason for the celebration is that the Savior of Humankind came to this world and was born of the Virgin Mary, who courageously said “Yes” and gave birth to her only son to fulfill the saving plan of God for the world. Therefore, Christmas should also be a celebration of life and of all women who, like Mary, say “Yes” to the lives being formed in their wombs as mothers. So, this Christmas, let us give thanks to Mary for through her “Yes” “the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us” (John 1:14) for the redemption of the entire world.

In the world today, millions celebrate Christmas but also support abortion, not life. It is even sadder to realize that some Catholics support abortion. This means that they support the death of innocent life based upon the excuse that women should “decide freely what to do with their own body”. And I would agree, but for the fact that the life that is developing in their wombs is human, created in the image of God, and should be respected, not destroyed. We must respect and protect life from conception to natural death as the Church explains in the Catechism 2319 “every human life, from the moment of conception until death, is sacred because the human person has been willed for its own sake in the image and likeness of the Living and Holy God.”

Abortion is real to me; it is a part of my story. My mother told me that after being separated from her husband for many years because she suffered domestic violence at his hands, she decided to move to Northern Mexico. One day in Tijuana, after work, she visited her best friend, Eloisa, who lived with her husband and brother-in-law José, an older bachelor, over for some drinks after dinner. The next day, my mother woke up next to José. And she said to him, “there is nothing between you and me, just forgive me and forget this ever happened. Even though I have been separated from my husband for many years, I am still a married woman.”

A few weeks later, my mother began to feel strange and, with great surprise, discovered that she had become pregnant that night. My mother, a woman from Colima in Southern Mexico who lived alone in Tijuana, in Northern Mexico, with no family members to rely upon, only her friend Eloisa. As the months passed, people advised her to get an abortion, arguing against letting a baby be born into a life of instability and poverty. 

Things were different then. Abortion was not legal in Mexico and was done clandestinely. I thank God my mother realized she was carrying a life in her womb and chose not to abort me. Had she heeded those around her, I would not have been born. I was born on a Friday at 3:00 pm, the hour of the Divine Mercy. How do I know this? Well, my mother told me she used to listen to a radio show that started at 3:00 pm with a rancher-style song. My mother was waiting for the show to start when the midwife arrived at her cardboard dwelling to help her deliver me; my mother knew that I was born at 3:00 pm because when she heard my first cries, the rancher-style song played in the background.

We live in excruciating times as millions of innocent lives are murdered by abortion. I cannot understand that people who claim to be “Catholic” and non-Catholic Christians can support this genocide by voting for pro-choice politicians; this is not Christ-like. Murder is not a right.

The Virgin Mary is our role model for the acceptance and reception of new life. Christmas is a celebration of life. The Virgin Mary agreed to become a mother despite the penalties established in the laws and customs of her time. She faced trial and a lack of understanding. Even worse, when the baby was due, she had no suitable place to give birth. However, she never repudiated her mission nor having said “yes” to God.

Finally, she gave birth in a manger, and nevertheless the circumstances, she was happy. She and her husband, St. Joseph, did not allow poverty or the many hurdles to tarnish their appreciation of the Glory of God present in the glorious event of new life. The most beautiful account of this event is St. Luke’s words about our Mother, “but Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.” (Luke 2:19). This means that she lived the happy moments, such as the birth of Our Lord Jesus, in her heart throughout her life. 

Let us faithfully pray during Advent for pregnant women and for this generation to change their thinking so that they become a “Pro-life Generation” and the murder of innocents will stop. Let us pray to God through the Virgin Mary, a model of Love for life. Amen.

I thank God and pray for all the mothers that have said “yes” to life.

I thank each and every person that has contributed their prayers and offerings to help ESNE continue to carry the Good Tidings of Christ to the world. With your help, we have reached so many people in many countries. I consider a miracle that we, as migrants, do not let ourselves be carried away by or bedazzled only by the material things of our new land, as we have discovered that serving our neighbor is a wonderful blessing from God.

A couple of months ago, in a personal conversation, Pope Francis asked me to continue “working with high spirit and Faith, sowing the Good Seed“. He also sent his blessing that I now share with all of you. I join the Pope in this blessing and wish that you and your family persevere in the Faith and Hope in the New Year so that even in the midst of the struggles, you continue to trust and listen to the voice of the Lord that will lead us to green meadows and quiet waters. (Psalm 23) 

I invite the women to prepare for the coming Metanoia, February 4-5, as an excellent way to start the New Year with God’s Blessing and Strength. We are looking forward to having you join us then!

I wish you a Merry Christmas. May the Child Jesus bring Peace and Joy to your hearts, and the Blessed Virgin Mary and Saint Joseph intercede for you and your families.