By: Mangalorean.com Team
When the three Kings of the Orient followed the yonder star to the stable on that historic and blessed night, their hearts were full of hope and anticipation. They knew for sure what was awaiting them ? A King. But this was a king who was not born in a royal palace among luxury. This was a king born in a stable. By his birth itself, our Lord Jesus showed us the true meaning of Christmas. He humbled himself and was exalted.
As we remember his birth every day on Christmas Eve, we hold his message in our hearts and like the three Kings of the Orient, we look forward to embracing everything that is good and true and pure.
We, at Mangalorean.com wish all our readers a Merry Christmas and a peace filled season of joy. May the true spirit of Christmas dwell within our hearts, this Christmas season and throughout the New Year.
Some personal and special Christmas Messages to all the readers of Mangalorean.com from —
Most Rev. Dr. Aloysius Paul D’Souza, Bishop of Mangalore:
May Christmas touch our hearts a new,
Inspiring joy that’s deep and true,
May Christmas teach us all to find,
New Hope and Faith in humankind,
May Love and goodwill know rebirth,
May Christmas bring us peace on earth.
Wish you all a Merry Christmas and Prosperous New Year 2007, filled with God’s choicest blessings.
Fr. Melvin D’Cunha OCD, Parish Priest, Holy Family Cathedral, Kuwait:
Showing the aeroplane that was flying high in the sky to her little child the mother said say bye-bye to your dad who is in that flight. Believing the words of mother the child waved her hand and said bye-bye to her dad. Then she began to think and asked mummy the flight is so high in the sky and how did dad go up there? I am sure he has taken lot of trouble to go up there? No your dad has not taken trouble to go up, rather it is the aeroplane that took trouble to come down and taken your dad up.
For about 2006 years ago some one took trouble to come down from heaven to be with us and to take us up with Him. He is none other than Jesus Christ. It is about Him St. John Writes in his Gospel "The Word became Flesh and lived among us" -Emmanuel-God with us. That is the love of God for humanity. God did not send cards or E-mail to show us His love but sent His only Son Jesus Christ and we know what He did for us. He lived among us and taught us how to live, love, share and forgive.
As we are preparing to celebrate His Birthday let us continue thanking God for the wonderful gift that He has given to the humanity in the person of Jesus and try to live up to His teaching of love. May He reign over this troubled world and let His peace, love and joy be ours at this Christmas.
Wishing you all a Grace filled Christmas and bright New Year.
Fr. Francis Lewis, Director, Sandesha Foundation for Culture & Education, Mangalore (Karnataka Regional Centre for Social Communication)
Let’s celebrate the incarnation of Love.
Bells ringing, choirs singing, spectacular lights brighten the dark night, Christmas trees adorned with dazzling ornaments, Santa Claus amusing young children, wrapping and unwrapping of gifts and delicious food cooking in the kitchen – the picture is all known to the world. Christmas is the festival of a Birth that took place 2000 years ago. Century after century Christians all over the world celebrate Christmas with hope, joy and love. This is a time for good tidings and goodwill. Christmas the greatest love story ever told, the story of God who so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son. Christmas is the story of God’s greatest gift given to meet humankind’s greatest need.
"For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder; and his name shall be called wonderful, Counsellor, the mighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace" Isaiah 9:6
The centre of Christmas is Christ himself. Christmas is the incarnation, the enfleshment of God. Two thousand years ago, in a village called Bethlehem, God visibly entered the world as a human being. He is Jesus. The Old Testament prophets called him messiah, redeemer, Emmanuel; the New Testament writers called him Jesus, King of Kings, Lord of Lords. The angels called him Son of God, his friends called him Rabbi, Master, he called himself the Light of the world, Son of Man, I AM.
Let us celebrate the Incarnation of Love. The enfleshment of God should help us to respect life and the dignity of each person. When Christmas, the greatest gift of God meets the greatest need of humankind, may it enrich our joy and enable us to live in peace and harmony.
Merry Christmas and a Prosperous New Year 2007 to all.
Fr. Frederick D’souza, St Mary’s Church Dubai
Christmas is the Incarnation of the Word of God. Invisible in His own nature God became visible in our nature who was beyond our grasp, He chose to come within our grasp. God came from heaven to a manger, from a manger to a cross, from a cross to the grave and from a grave back to heaven. The wonder of the incarnation is this, ‘God traveled to us. The wonderful thing about Christ is that as people looked at Him, followed Him, and watched Him, it became apparent to them that this is what God must be like. They concluded that if there is a God at all, then He must have Christ’s eyes, Christ’s ways, Christ’s ever helpful hands, Christ’s love. To be God means always to stoop lower by far than any man could stoop, to bear what never a human heart would dream of bearing, to give oneself with an abandon of unselfishness that leaves us staring in slack-jawed wonder. His love is a hugeness beyond all human reckoning. It is an everlasting Calvary.
To receive the Gospel in our life, we must be incarnated too. In order to make our words effective, our love must be made flesh. To communicate among people our words must be made flesh.
Fr. Denis D’Sa, Fr. Muller’s Charitable Institution, Mangalore:
My dear friends from Mangalorean.com
Greetings of joy, peace and happiness coming your way from Fr.Denis D’sa. Come December and the mood is one of joy and celebration. The reason without any explanation is "Christmas". It is 24th December and we are just a couple of hours away from the real celebration of Christmas. And I am here on the eve of Christmas with a message of Love and fraternity.
The festival of Christmas is associated with many rich customs and traditions like singing of Christmas carols, preparing and exchanging Kuswar, (the special eatables prepared at Christmas), preparing the crib and decorating the Christmas tree, and the most common custom is sending Christmas cards and exchanging good wishes. A couple of years ago, I had received a card that had the following words on it. "Love came down two thousand years ago and brought the greatest happiness and peace the world would ever know". This is the real meaning of Christmas. It is a festival of Love- God’s love towards mankind, Jesus’ love towards the least of his brothers and sisters, and our love towards our neighbors. All the customs and traditions we follow and all the signs and symbols that we use at Christmas tell us the message of Love. Let us prepare ourselves to celebrate this festival of love and peace. I am saying this with a sincere heart because Mangalore really is in need of peace and harmony which can be brought about only through deeds of love.
Christmas is a festival of God’s love towards mankind.
Rabindranath Tagore, one of the greatest poets of India had said that every child that is born into this world comes with the message that God still loves the world. At the birth of Jesus, God said the same thing, "I still love the world". In fact God so loved the world that he decided to come down and stay with the people. That is Christmas.
John Donne, a seventeenth century poet has a story about a man searching for God. The man is told that God lives on the top of a tall mountain at the end of the earth. After a long journey the man arrives at the mountain and begins his climb. About the time the man begins his climb, God says to himself, "What can I do to show my people how much I love them?" He gets the idea to descend the mountain and live among his people as one of them. So he begins descending the mountain. And so as the man is ascending on one side of the mountain, God is descending the other side. They don’t see each other because they are on opposite sides of the mountain. When the man reaches the mountain top, he is crestfallen to find no one there. He thinks, "God doesn’t live here after all". He even begins to think God doesn’t exist saying, "If God doesn’t live here, where does he live?"
God does not live on mountaintops or in the midst of the deserts or at the end of the earth. God dwells among his people. He lives in the villages, town and the cities of the world. This is the message of Christmas. God has taken up residence among people i.e Emmanuel which means God with us. Christmas is the festival of his love for mankind.
Christmas is a festival of Jesus’ Love towards the least of his brothers and sisters.
Soren Kierkegard, a philosopher writes the story of a king. A king fell in love with a peasant girl. He loved her so much that he could not live without her. So he decided to marry her. But immediately he thought, I am from a royal family. Will my family allow me to marry her? But the king said to himself. I am the King. I will decide for myself. I will marry her. But as he was just making that decision another worry started to bother him. If the girl treats me as a king rather than her husband will I be able to love her and live a married life? He now decides that he will give up his kingship and marry her. Now he is disturbed with another problem. If the girl doesn’t like to marry an ordinary man? In this case I will lose both my kingship and the girl. But, finally he says come what may I will give up my kingship and marry her. He lived happily ever after.
Christmas is exactly the same story. Jesus giving up his Kingship and becoming one like us. Jesus loved his brothers and sisters so much that he gave up his kingship to be a commoner among the commonest.
Christmas is a festival of my love towards the other
This is the most important dimension of Christmas. It is seeing the new born babe Jesus in my brothers and sisters.
There was a devout lady who had a dream and in her dream she saw God telling her that he would be visiting her next day. She was very excited. Next day she got up quite early and made all kinds of preparations to receive the lord. It was 10 am in the morning. There was a knock on the door. The lady ran to open the door but she was very disappointed to see a lady with a crying child in her arms. She says "Amma my child is suffering from fever. I don’t have money to buy medicines. Could you please give me some money?" The devout lady was so furious and she sends her away angrily. At 1 in the noon there was a knock and now the lady was sure that it is lord. When she opened the door she was dejected to see a beggar. Amma I have not eaten for three days. Can you give me some food? The lady shouts at him and pushes him out. The lady again waits for the Lord. It was 6 pm in the evening and there was another knock and now the lady says definitely this is the Lord. She rushes to open the door. But to her bad luck she was welcomed by a shivering person. He says Amma I am shivering in this cold weather. Can you give me some clothes? She was so upset that she chases him from there. She was still waiting for the lord. It was ten at night and the lord did not turn up. She goes to bed with much disappointment. At night the lord appeared to her again in the dream. At once this lady started to grumble. Lord you said that you would come to my house but you did not come. The lord replied, I came thrice to your home and you did not recognize me. When lord? I came in those three poor persons. You did not receive me. "Whatsoever you do to the least of my brethren that you did unto me". If you cannot see me in those poor people you will never see me. If you say that you love God and you don’t love your neighbor you are a liar.
Christmas is recognizing God in everyone. Jesus takes birth in every person today. That is real Christmas. We need to identify God in every person. This is the need of the hour. If we were to see God in every person we wouldn’t have had communal riots, clashes between political parties, fights for the construction to churches, temples and mosques, controversial religious processions, hatred between communities etc. Every religion say build bridges of love and not walls of hatred. A Guru asked his Shishyaas "when you can say it is dawn?" One said when you see an animal and when you are clearly able to identify it then it is dawn. Another said when you see a tree and you are able to identify it then it is dawn. They gave so many answers. But the Guru was not happy. The disciples ask the Guru to give the answer. The Guru says when you see a person and if you are able too look into his/her eyes and confidently say to him/her you are my brother or sister that is the real dawn of life.
Friends may this Christmas prompt us to see God in every person. Let us build bridges of love and not walls of hatred. Let this be your wish when you exchange Christmas and New Year greetings with your fellow human beings. Wish you all a Merry Christmas and a prosperous and grace filled New Year.
Fr. Henry Sequeira, Chaplain, St. Margaret Mercy Help Center, USA:
As children, we came together to make Crib and we planned in advance. We put in especial efforts in creating scenes of miniature paddy fields and water springs. We did not have any idea why we did that, but it was very much a symbolism of life and newness. Presenting Jesus in our cultural milieu, He got incarnated in our lives in a unique way. For the first time when St. Francis had this idea of a Crib he wanted to present the mystery of Incarnation in live fashion. For that in 1223 A.D., he used real people, a real manger, a real ox and ass, and real shepherds. He wanted to celebrate Christmas in a special way. At the appointed time, Franciscan Brothers came to the new Bethlehem. All were filled with joy over the mystery of Incarnation. A great tradition began of life and newness.
Today Mangaloreans settled abroad, as get incarnated into the adapted culture and country, along with the depth of our faith tradition, richness of our roots, sense of family, simplicity in living and a positive regard towards every body, we need to constantly thank God. While appreciating the riches of the new place we may not forget our mother tongue, humaneness, humor and generosity. Because, these qualities exist in us, we adapt ourselves to other cultures so easily. Others too like us and love us, many want to be friends with us due to the unique Mangaloren nature/culture. This has come about to us because we believe in Christmas message that hate can give way to love, that brokenness can be healed to wholeness, that season of cold and dark will not last forever.
Mangalorean.com which is a guiding star in the galaxy of websites may shine brighter night and day bringing direction to many lives all over the world, especially at this Christmas and throughout the New Year. May Babe Jesus bless abundantly the efforts of Roshan D’souza and Queenie Mendonca in the noble task of maintaining this web-site, giving expression to our deepest aspirations.
Fr. Denzil Lobo SJ, Director, AIBA & AICS, St Aloysius College, Mangalore :
Dear readers of mangalorean.com.
I want to wish each and every one of you Peace, Joy and Happiness which the birth of our Lord brings in our lives. This is a beautiful festive season, a holiday season for all of us to enjoy the company of our near and dear ones.
This is also a season when we give gift to our loved ones- just to tell them that we care for them and love them.
Jesus is the greatest gift given by God to every one of us. Let us accept Him by accepting and caring for people who need our attention and concern, and love.
My wish is that each and everyone of us becomes a light—as Jesus himself said " You are the Light" and thus dispel the darkness around us by our kind deeds of love and compassion.
May the New Year be very promising and special to you and to your families.