Christmas Bandhutva 2019: Christmas calls us to Love and Serve all – Bishop Dr Peter

Christmas Bandhutva 2019: Christmas calls us to Love and Serve all – Bishop Dr Peter

Mangaluru: “The Bandhutva Christmas” or Fraternal Christmas was celebrated at the Bishop’s house here on December 27.

The programme began with an invocation. Bishop of Mangaluru Diocese Dr Peter Paul Saldanha welcomed the gathering. In his Christmas message, Dr Peter Paul said, “Christmas brings the Good News of great joy that a child is born and a Son is given to us. The summary of the message of Jesus Christ, Son of God, born of the Virgin Mary, is to Love God and Love neighbour.  Jesus says: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind” and “You shall love your neighbour as yourself”. St John, whose feast we celebrate today, clarifies the relationship between these two commandments: “If anyone says, ‘I love God’, and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen” and therefore, he concludes: “whoever loves God must also love his brother”.

Dr Peter further said, “According to this teaching, if one offers worship to God in the temple while hates his neighbour, is not a true worshiper of God. The Bible not only uses the strong word to such a person as “liar” but also “murderer”, quoting the example of Cain who killed his brother Abel. That is the reason why we are called to rise above the culture of death and destruction when we deal with those whom we do not like and promote the culture of life and love. I quote one more text that is a great inspiration for us: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by doing so you will heap burning coals on his head. Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good”.

Dr Peter also said, “Christians, following these teachings have made loving service as their hallmark. There is no distinction of high or low, rich or poor. We are called to serve all and therefore we try our best to be open and receptive to all. This loving service, even towards those who hate us, makes Christians to be available for everyone. Jesus is the initiator of this chain-reaction of love; he has shown the power of love for God is Love. He does not ask us to exclude or eliminate the enemy but to integrate him into our family by loving him. He teaches to absorb enmity and evil by forgiving continually the person who harms us”.

While concluding Dr Peter said, “Life is short. It can end anytime. All are destined to go to the same Father in heaven. All that we accumulate does not serve us in this journey towards God except if we share it with others.

Let this Christmas help us to do deep introspection whether we harbour prejudice against anybody so as to exclude the other from our love. If we have closed our hearts to anyone, then we ourselves are the losers because, then, God cannot abide in us. We shall be people without God and therefore without any hope of reaching God. Each one of us is God’s precious gift placed on this earth and when we exclude even a single person from our life, we exclude God because even that person is God’s gift and belongs to God. A person who excludes others cannot be a friend of God and all worship becomes an empty lie. Let this Christmas help us rise above all dangerous prejudices and win over the hearts of everyone”.

In his Christmas message P Subramanya Yadapadithaya, the vice-chancellor of Mangalore University, said, “This feast of Christmas is well honoured and well accepted by entire mankind around the world. The American theologian Reinhold Niebuhr in a beautiful prayer prayed, “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, Courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference”. This is the greatest enlightenment we can ever have as a human being. The birth of Jesus at midnight went unnoticed in Bethlehem. Emmanuel was born but the baby in the manger granted eternal peace to the entire mankind. God became a human being to make all of us better human beings. Unless we become better human beings we cannot become great personalities to make a meaningful difference in the hearts and minds of the people. The simple and dedicated flock around the hills of Bethlehem the shepherds they were uneducated but beautiful human beings who knew only one thing how to share, how to care, how to nurture and how to be universally compassionate. These shepherds did not preach the core values of Christmas, the message of the God the Lord Jesus but they practiced through their humble behaviour because the shepherds knew how to care. Diffenately Jesus is the Christmas gift to mankind and God found in the depths of our heart.”

Subramanya Yadapadithaya further said, “If you are in a position to find God in others then only you will be in a position to find God in yourself. Serving mankind is nothing but the greatest prayer you can ever do. His living presence in us, we can feel every moment of truth because that is our faith in him. Unless we are in a position to understand and appreciate the internal deep faith in us we cannot call ourselves great human beings. God speaks to us through the Holy Scriptures in the bible, I am truly impressed by one of the Holy Scripture. When I was in the UK in 2001 – 02, I visited the Church because I was staying with a landlady and the lady asked me to visit the church. It was a white Christmas with biting cold for all of us. The lady invited me to the church and I agreed to go with her but I had one doubt, what can I do in the church? In the church I saw the Holy bible, I laid my hands on it and randomly open the page and read. What I read, I cannot forget until my last breath about the values left in our children that touch their destiny more than the valuables left to them. We should understand and appreciate that it is not the material well being but it is the eternal wellbeing. It is the great peace that is the real gift of God, the gift of Christmas to mankind given by the baby in the manger. The living presence in us can be felt through faith. He is the greatest human being on earth. God becomes a human being to make us more human and better human beings. He is there to wipe our tears and we should wipe out the tears of others by showing empathy that is the way we can become worthy human beings”.

Subramanya Yadapadithaya also said, “The baby in manger will give the true peace and I have a simple formula that is VSP. V stands for Values, S stands for Symbol and P stands for a practice. Values propagated by religions are the same. Be universally compassionate, help people in times of difficulties, be empathetic and not sympathetic. Therefore you can understand the inner peace, love, compassion, affection and everything in others that is how we are respecting prayers. It is possible that values are commonly found in all religions whether it is Hindu, Islam, Christian, Buddhism, Jainism but the symbols and practices vary across religions. Christmas is made of 9 letters, they are:

C – stands for Caring, Comforting and compassion
H – stands for Hope, Humanity
R – stands for Relationship
I – stands for Invoking faith
S – stands for Selfless love and sharing
T – stands for Trusting
M – stands for Motivating
A – stands for Adoring the almighty
S – stands for Spirit of Sacrifice.

While concluding Subramanya Yadapadithaya said, “Start loving your enemies, as vice-chancellor of Mangaluru University I am practicing the wonderful core values of starting to love my enemies. I don’t find any enemies in my surroundings. The simplicity of the heart is possible through sacrifice. Therefore Lord Jesus appreciates the poverty that gives a lot of solaces. The simplicity of the heart is very very important. May the peace and joy of divine baby resound in our hearts because we should respect the unconditional love provided by God, forgiving even the one who crucified him. Today we celebrate mutual trust, confidence, goodwill, shared vision and determination to excel in this great world. Let me wish you a happy Christmas and a peaceful and prosperous new year 2020”.

Christmas Bandhutva 2019: Christmas calls us to Love and serve all!

Christmas Bandhutva 2019: Christmas calls us to Love and serve all!

Mangalorean.com இடுகையிட்ட தேதி: வெள்ளி, 27 டிசம்பர், 2019

Christmas Bandhutva 2019: Christmas calls us to Love and serve all!

Christmas Bandhutva 2019: Christmas calls us to Love and serve all!

Mangalorean.com இடுகையிட்ட தேதி: வெள்ளி, 27 டிசம்பர், 2019

Christmas Bandhutva 2019: Christmas calls us to Love and serve all!

Christmas Bandhutva 2019: Christmas calls us to Love and serve all!

Mangalorean.com இடுகையிட்ட தேதி: வெள்ளி, 27 டிசம்பர், 2019

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Dr.Cajetan Coelho

Life is a precious gift. Christmas Season – a time to celebrate the gift of life.