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Sunday, 21 December 2014

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Catholic Bishops' Conference - 2014

Christmas message:

At Christmas we celebrate the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem which is God's entry into human history. In this mystery of the incarnation God revealed to us the depths of his love for humankind. "God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son so that whosoever believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life." (John 3:16)

Jesus has made it abundantly clear by his coming into our midst he wants us to share in the fullness of life which he alone can give (John 10/10). He wants us to live our lives as meaningfully as possible in this world and then enter into his divine life for "all eternity." In the celebration of this mystery of incarnation, Jesus invites all of us to come to experience this life he offers. Hence, our celebration of Christmas cannot and should not be mere recalling of a past event. At Christmas, Jesus wishes to be "born" in the personal lives of each of us.

Therefore, Christmas reminds us the need to invite Jesus into our lives, our families and our society.

This simple birth in a stable in Bethlehem has a radical call towards conversion so that we would be more sensitive to the needs of others irrespective of various differences. The Holy Father Pope Francis reminds us of this need to transform and transcend the barriers to achieve justice, peace and solidarity among people. This call of the Holy Father has great relevance to us who are at the threshold of his visit to Sri Lanka and his constant call to a commitment to create a more just, peaceful and human society where human life and human dignity are considered sacred.

As Jesus was born among the poor, Christmas invites us to pay careful attention to the poor and be sensitive to the various forms of human needs and suffering prevailing in our society. Let us be mindful of the disturbing levels of disregard towards the immeasurable value of life and the culture of impunity that has crept into our society.

While we engage in various forms of charitable activity, Christmas urges us to go still further and be mindful of the circumstances that keep the poor always poor. Let us commit ourselves to changing all that is not in keeping with God's holy will in our midst by becoming agents of peace, harmony and reconciliation. As we give thanks to God for the beautiful gift of Jesus, let us pray that all of us be renewed by the Spirit to be living witnesses of Lord Jesus.

We wish all our faithful, our fellow citizens and all men and women of goodwill a Blessed Christmas.

 

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