True and lasting peace yet not a reality: Bishops
Dec 24, 2011

The Catholic Bishop’s Conference of Sri Lanka in a Christmas day message said yesterday the celebration of Christmas in the post-war context of Sri Lanka had its distinctive challenges. It said Christmas challenged all of us to meet the Lord among the suffering people of our society -- the poor and the afflicted and to bring them comfort and solace.

“Our minds and hearts go out also to the thousands of people who are displaced and are not finally resettled in their own villages,” the Bishops Conference said. The message by the CBCSL, which is presided over by the Archbishop of Colombo, Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith said:

“We live in a country where true and lasting peace is yet to be a reality.

“Therefore, our celebration of Christmas in the post-war context of Sri Lanka places before us its distinctive challenges.

“It reminds us that life is always God’s unique gift to all of us. We need to continue to acquire a new appraisal of the gift of life itself that goes beyond all man-made differences of caste, creed or race. Christmas reminds us of the deep respect that we owe to one another and of our great need for unity and reconciliation.”

“We celebrate the Feast of the Prince of Peace. Therefore, let us be engaged in the much needed and the challenging task of healing the wounds that have been inflicted all along the protracted war and overcome the prejudices which distance us from one another as reconciliation is the great need of the hour. The Incarnate Son reminds us that all of us are children of God, brothers and sisters in the One Fatherhood of God wherever or whoever we are. Let us therefore double our efforts and recommit ourselves to this vital task and become instruments of the Incarnate Son and agents of peace-building and reconciliation.

“The child whom we adore invites all of us to be heralds of peace and to do so, most of all by the example and the witness of our daily lives.

“We urge everybody concerned to double their efforts so that normalcy returns to their lives.

Hence, we need to seek him among the multitudes who continue to suffer as economic and other hardships make life almost unbearable to so many of our families.

Just as the shepherds of old in Bethlehem, let us accept the challenge and go to meet Jesus lying in the many forms of the ‘ mangers’ of our day.

“We wish our beloved Faithful a Holy and a Blessed Christmas in which you come to be filled with God’s immense love and become his agents of peace through respect, healing and reconciliation.

We wish all the citizens of Sri Lanka and all men and women of goodwill the peace and the blessings of Christmas.”

Source: Daily Mirror - Sri Lanka