Wednesday 21 December 2016
Dear sisters and brothers,
Greetings of joy and blessings of the Lord!
Christmas is the celebration of a unique historical event. It is not just an echo of a long past 'Holy Night'. Rather, it is the fulfilment of a promise of God coming down and living among us human beings!
It is a celebration of God’s self-communication with the intent to build communion with us human beings. So, it is both a challenge and a responsibility for us to communicate this love and build communion with our brothers and sisters. In short, it is a feast of joy, love, fraternity and peace.
Christ lived and preached the path of love, mercy and tolerance towards all. This, in fact, is the path the leaders of many other religions too have taught. Saint Mother Therese whom Pope Francis canonised on 4 September 2016 followed this path in her struggle to bring joy and mercy into the world. This is the spirit in which Pope Francis in his recent apostolic letter Misericordia et Misera (Mercy and Misery) reminded humanity that it is the time of mercy because those who are weak and vulnerable, distant and alone, ought to feel the presence of brothers and sisters who can help them in their need. The desire for closeness to Christ requires us to draw near to our brothers and sisters, for nothing is more pleasing to the Father than a true sign of mercy. In this time of grace let us live our life accepting everyone with their gifts and limitations. May the mercy of God be with us and enhance us to love everyone and share the joy and happiness with one another.
I wish to express personally my sincere gratitude for your ongoing love, support and prayers. May you as well as your dear ones be abundantly blessed by the Lord born in a Manger for us!
A very happy feast of Christmas, a blessed Season of joy and a promising New Year 2017!
Fraternally in the Lord,
Fr. Shibu Joseph SAC