Once again, we celebrate God’s entry into human history in the Mystery of Incarnation, the birth of the Son of God in the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary. We exult in praise and thanksgiving to God Our Father joining with the heavenly hosts. “For 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 that by his coming into our midst he wants us to share in the life he alone can give. He wants us to live our lives as meaningfully as possible here below and later come to share in his divine life for all eternity. In the celebration of the Mystery of Incarnation, Jesus invites all of us to come to experience the life he offers. Hence, our celebration of Christmas cannot and must not be a mere recalling of his historical birth. For, he wishes to be ‘born’ in the personal lives of each of us.
In 2012, we celebrate Christmas in the “Year of Faith” declared by His Holiness Benedict XVI. He underlines: “Ever since the start of my ministry as Successor of Peter, I have spoken of the need to rediscover the journey of faith so as to shed ever clearer light on the joy and renewed enthusiasm of the encounter with Christ” (Porta Fidei, art. 2). He invites all of us believers to rediscover the beauty of faith and the joy that comes from believing in him and by doing so be filled with renewed eagerness and enthusiasm to proclaim him to others. He invites us to proclaim to the world of today that the act of faith is totally in keeping with human nature and that it is completely reasonable to say, ‘I believe’. The Universal Shepherd reminds us that in this year of faith we must go beyond a mere commemoration of the anniversaries pertaining to the promulgation of the year of faith. We need to understand that the true spiritual meaning of the Second Vatican Council was to communicate faith in Christ and encounter Him. Let us, therefore, make this Christmas a fitting occasion to grasp the beauty of Christian faith and experience the unique joy of being able to believe in Jesus as Lord and Saviour of the world.
Every Christmas invites us to take a very realistic look at the society in which we live. It invites us to pay careful attention to the poor in our midst and be sensitive to the various forms of human sufferings prevailing in our society. Let us be mindful of the disturbing levels of disregard towards the indescribable value of life and the culture of impunity that appears to have overtaken us. While we engage in various forms of charitable activities, Christmas invites us to go still further and be mindful of those things 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 becoming agents of peace and reconciliation. Let us be engaged in the task of making the Sri Lankan society a better place for all of us to live. As we give thanks to God for Jesus, let us pray that all of us be given a renewed joy and a rediscovery of the uniqueness of our faith in Jesus as the Risen Lord and Saviour.
We wish all our faithful, our fellow citizens and all men and women of goodwill a Blessed Christmas.