Dear friends, I wish you all the joyful wishes of the birth of Jesus. Happy Christmas!
Mangaluru, Dec 23, 2019: The baby Jesus, the Son of God was born in poverty, humility, and self-denial. In the crèche, or the crib, when the statue of baby Jesus is placed together with Joseph and Mary, everything becomes meaningful and alive. Everything becomes significant. Remove Jesus, the crib becomes a scene of some village life. Jesus becomes meaning giver of our life and of our surroundings.
Jesus was born at a time when the Romans were using all sorts of force against the simple and the poor and killing them for trivial reasons. The exploitation had reached such height that the people seemed to live in a dark tunnel having no point of exit. In that existential darkness, Jesus was born to give new hope and enable the outcastes and exploited to live in dignity. With Jesus, human life moves towards finding true meaning and development. He becomes the friend of last and least. Jesus is indeed the Star that lights up the world.
Christians believe that the true dignity of every person is reflected in Jesus. The archangel Gabriel announced to Mary that the child to be born to her is the Son of the Most High God. If God has chosen to become human and nothing else, then every person is truly the image and likeness of God. Every child, whether in the womb or outside or a grown up person or a dying person, has great inalienable dignity and right. With Jesus, God is not a mere immaterial idea; through the mystery of his birth, God shows that he is concretely involved in the material world. He is concerned about each one of us. With his birth through Virgin Mary, he has ushered in a new creation.
Let us then, respect human life at whatever stage it is found. Do not strangle life; allow it to grow. If Putalibai had decided to terminate pregnancy, we would not have had Mahatma Gandhi. If someone had decided to put an end to the life of Stephen Hawking who had amyotrophic lateral sclerosis for 50 years, saying it is a way of showing mercy (euthanasia), then we would have lost a great theoretical physicist. Every human being is an immense treasure placed amidst us.
Christmas helps us to contemplate the depth of the mystery of human life. It helps us to protect, promote and enhance human life. Our true worth is shown by the birth of the Son of God amidst us as one like us. Let us rejoice at this Good News. Happy Christmas to you all!
Most Rev. Peter Paul Saldanha-Bishop of Mangalore, Msgr. Maxim L. Noronha-Vicar General, Rev. Fr. Victor George Dsouza-Chancellor, Rev. Fr. Victor Vijay Lobo –P.R.O. & Mr. Marcel Monteiro-P.R.O Fr Richard D’Souza, Director CCC, Mr Elias Fernandes, Media adviser.