‘Spread the Message of Hope in a Hopeless World’- Bishop of Mangaluru Diocese Rev Dr Peter Paul Saldanha Tells Journos during a Christmas Get-Together with the Media persons held at Bishop’s House Hall on Thursday 21 December 2023
Mangaluru: It is that time of the year that the Bishop of Mangaluru diocese, Rev Dr Peter Paul Saldanha makes it a point to invite the media personnel to join in the Christmas Get-Together at the Bishop’s House hall, in appreciation of the support rendered by the media towards the Diocese throughout the year. Christmas is a season of giving and sharing with loved ones and those less fortunate than ourselves. During the Christmas season, you will also have the gift of time – time to celebrate each of our special and unique families, time to spend together as a family, time to travel and visit loved ones, time to rest and renew. During this wonderful Christmas season, we need to focus on your blessings – because that is what Christmas is all about.
Following the Christmas cake-cutting ceremony, Bishop Peter Paul Saldanha in his Christmas message said, “The daily news tells us that hatred, caste-based, religion-based discrimination and violence are reigning in our world. Wars, destruction, pain, death and misery are hitting headlines. As Pope Francis calls it, we are having a “Piecemeal World War III”. Desperation and suicides are on the increase. Everything seems to be pointing to a hopeless world. Only money and hunger for power seem to be the only concern. Indifference is rampant everywhere. It is a world of selfies, each one is concentrating on oneself. A true remedy and liberation are not visible”.
Bishop further said, “In this context, we celebrate Christmas, the feast of the birth of Jesus Christ. It is the “Feast of God-with-us.” At his birth, the angel announced to the shepherds: “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord” (Lk 2: 10-11). Those shepherds were living in a society oppressed by the Roman army. Death and darkness were everywhere. The shepherds expected good news of freedom from oppression. But with his birth, now the focus has changed”.
“It is not any more on the Roman emperor and his kingdom, but on one who will bring down the mighty from their thrones and raise the lowly. Jesus will do it not by weapons but by winning the hearts of enemies through love and forgiveness, prayer and penance. He uses powerful spiritual weapons. He will live by what he teaches. He will walk the talk. Jesus teaches us that violence and oppression, hatred, injustice and discrimination cannot rule the world. Even if one wins power for some time by hook or crook, after his death, he will be conveniently forgotten or not loved. Only the method of winning over the enemy by loving him is eternal. Jesus’ birth is a matter of great joy because he instils hope for new life. He accompanies us even today in all difficulties, to live life meaningfully” added Bishop.
In conclusion, Bishop Rev Dr Peter Paul Saldanha said, “In our painful context, Christ is born as the “Prince of Peace”. Let us be sure, no peace is possible without forgiveness and love. No peace is possible in discrimination and injustice. Only love and forgiveness is the remedy. Anyone who acts on these latter ones is on the side of God. In them joy dawns from within. Jesus invites us to instil hope in hopeless people. If we instil hope in any one person and help him or her, then we have done much. Let us be persons who lift the spirit of the people higher and higher. Let us fill hope in a hopeless world. Happy Christmas and Joy-filled New Year 2024”.
Mangalore Diocese Vicar General Fr Maxim Noronha, Diocese PRO Fr J B Saldanha, Diocesan Pastoral Parishad Secretary, Dr John D’Silva, among others, were present on the dais.