Christmas celebrates the gift of the Incarnation: the Word made flesh, God himself taking on a human body to reveal his love to us. The body is so important in Christianity. The body matters. The body speaks. Its language reveals to us our call to be a total self-gift in love. That is the central insight of St. John Paul II’s Theology of the Body, a series of teachings on man, woman and love which he gave in the early years of his pontificate.
This November, as we remember our departed in a particular way, it is a good time to remember also that the church offers comfort for the men and women left behind when a beloved spouse dies. Widows and widowers have a life full of dignity, purpose and mission. As Vatican II declared, “Widowhood, accepted bravely as a continuation of the marriage vocation, should be esteemed by all.”