Paolo Curtaz Commentary on the Gospel of Sunday December 31

Paolo Curtaz Commentary on the Gospel of Sunday, December 31, 2023 I am looking for your face

Give yourself peace: you are loved

Peace on earth to the people God loves!

God loves people and brings them peace.

This is the message received by the shepherds, the homeless, the hopeless and the undignified.

Give yourself peace, you are loved.

That is the loud and clear message that reaches me on this tired, limping and violent Christmas. But authentic like never before. So dramatically similar to what the Lord Jesus must have experienced in his first, intense, breathtaking Christmas.

No dinner for him, no relatives to watch over and support the teenage bride, or brothers to support the couple. Nothing like that.

And the prospect of an uncertain future, of an emperor who forces you to move, of a crazy and childishly murderous vassal king. Already looming on the horizon is Egypt, the mother of all Israel's misfortunes, the place where God must seek refuge to escape Herod's wrath.

No, come on, Christmas wasn't much either, let's be honest.

Nevertheless, this is an extraordinary day.

God entered history, not only inspired, guided and supported it.

He enters it. He becomes a man, that is, accessible, approachable. He is the God with us.

That's what we're celebrating these eight days.

Give yourself peace: you are loved. Forever.

And the fact that God is at the mercy of our indifference, this frozen God who allows himself to be embraced by his mother's warm embrace, is the measure of this gifted, disarmed, exposed love.

Holy Family

But it takes a fair amount of madness to propose the feast of the Holy Family this Sunday between Christmas and New Year, using the family of Nazareth as a model!

What model can be a family consisting of a father who is not the true father, a virgin mother and a child who is the Son of God?

And when we instead have the courage to let events speak, something moves within us.

Because, as Luke tells us in the Gospel just proclaimed, this is a concrete, real family that struggles with fatigue and suffering, with unexpected events and moments of weariness in relationships.

It's not a few demigods. In Nazareth there are no angels to iron and wash clothes.

There are no miracles accompanying the growth of little Jesus. Or miracles that prevent Joseph from working and earning his bread.

This family is exemplary precisely in its closeness to our struggles and our weariness, to our crises and our disputes, to the difficulties that it must and must face, as old Simeon prophesied.

No privileged track, yours, no exceptions.

God is born and grows in the fertile and precarious environment of family relationships, everyday life, and unexpected events.

And this strange family, more than the horizontal dimension of relationships, reminds us of the vertical dimension, of the God from whom all love is born and nourished. It reminds us that it is not the relationship, our couple, our love, our children, the God to whom we sacrifice all our hopes, the myth and the idol full of expectations. Even family, even love is just a reflection and springboard of love.

Or it becomes a source of immense pain.


Abraham is tired and discouraged.

He, the first seeker of God in history, had the courage to leave all certainty and security behind as he grew older. He was not afraid to go to himself, to follow the inner voice of this nameless and faceless God who challenges him to commitment, who promises him offspring, an infinite offspring.

But the years have passed and there is no heir to give him joy in his old age. He has taken the orphan Eleazar with him from Damascus and, at Sarah's insistence, will have a son with Hagar, her slave. But the promise wasn't really fulfilled.

After a long time, many hardships, many uncertainties, a son is born: Isaac.

Abraham doesn't know it yet, but Isaac is not the recipient of the promise, we are.

It is we who seek God who, like Abraham, follow our inner call to be his descendants.

Through faith

The author of the letter to the Hebrews, also a seeker, praises Abraham's faith. A faith tested, overcoming a thousand obstacles without knowing where he was going and offering his son to the God who gave him him (only to argue with God about the absurd test).

Abraham believed, he trusted, even when the future was uncertain, even when the present seemed illogical.

Just like we are.

No, we don't know where we're really going.

We are confused and tired of what is happening. We have no certainties, no matter what they tell us.

But we know we are not alone. That we are loved.

Give yourself peace: you are loved.

Even if, like Abraham, you rely on trust.

Even if, like him, you have to decide whether you believe in the compassionate God or in the sadist who asks you to sacrifice a child.

Even if the fulfillment of the promise does not meet your expectations.

Give yourself peace: you are loved.

Even if, like Mary and Joseph, you find that your life has been turned upside down like a glove.

Even if you are confronted with unexpected events that deeply undermine your composure.

Even if the banality of Nazareth forces you to radically rethink your idea of ​​holiness and the presence of God.


Then it really is a celebration. The celebration of who we truly are. Celebrate our families as they are. And of the people we love, whoever they are (because love always comes from God), far from stereotypes.

Is there perhaps a less conventional family than that of Nazareth?

We celebrate the Holy Family to make our families holy.

Holy, that is, inhabited by God.

Who crawls around the house, who throws tantrums, who falls asleep and listens to the stories about the exploits of the heroes of Israel.

Give yourself peace: you are loved.

I am here and I am with you. Don't miss the little #FTC lecture every day at 8 p.m. (Sundays 9 p.m.) on my Facebook and YouTube channels, designed to help faith and hope grow.

The evangelization continues with webinars at 9 p.m.: At the beginning, commentary on Gen 1 and 2 (3 meetings live or postponed). Followed by 5 Confession of Faith meetings. You can buy them at