Celebrate Christmas with spirituality and faith, shun glitter- Bishop
[TamilNet, Monday, 24 December 2007, 14:24 GMT]
Bishop of Jaffna, Rev. Dr Thomas Savundaranayagam, in a Christmas message delivered Monday, appealed to the devotees of his diocease, to "celebrate Christmas this year as a deeply spiritual, solemn, and meaningful festivity, reflecting and drawing on their deep faith to help fellowmen, and to avoid all external glitter and ostentatiousness normally associated with such festivals." The Bishop also called upon the warring parties to seek reconciliation and peace, and urged them to lay to rest all weapons of war.
Bishop Thomas Soundaranayagam
“We are facing this year’s Christmas in an environment of fear. Arbitrary arrests, abductions, killings and death threats have instilled fear amidst our community. Ominous dark clouds of war hang over our heads.
"We are constantly traumatized as we contemplate ways to seek safety for our immediate family and relatives in a climate of fear, and unknown dangers that threaten lives of everyone in Jaffna.
“The chances of cessation of hostilities and the return of permanent peace seem to be very slim. Wherever, we turn we hear the loud cries for war.
"Jesus Christ came into the world to bring Peace and amity among people. The Angels chorused “Glory to God in the highest, and Peace to men of good will," but men continue to wage war and make division and dissension in the society and in the world.
“Under these circumstances we want to raise our voice on this day of the birth of the King of Peace who appeared in this world to forge a bridge among all communities, to plead with the protoganists to cease all acts of violence, and to convince them to put to rest all weapons of war.
“We call upon the government to please put forward an acceptable solution that can create understanding and unity among communities. Please start the stalled peace talks without any delay," we jointly call on both parties.
"This is our fervent appeal on behalf of the long suffering Tamil community,
“Let us receive the blessings of infant Jesus by engaging in acts of kindness and charity, spread love around us, and celebrate the joyous day with less extravagance and pomp, and prepare to face the New Year," the Bishop said in his Christmas Day message to the Catholic community in the peninsula.