Port Moresby (Agenzia Fides) - "Christmas is that wonderful time of the year, when we go home and get together with family and friends. It is a moment in which we give thanks to the Lord for the gift of his Son as Savior to the world". This is what Fr. Ambrose Pereira Sdb, Communications Director of the Episcopal Conference of Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands, sent to Agenzia Fides on the occasion of Christmas 2019.
"During these four weeks of Advent - continues Fr. Ambrose, many of us, young and old, will travel great distances to reunite with family members. Before finding hospitality in a stable, Mary and Joseph knocked on every door and always received the same answer: 'No Room in the Inn'. The only place was the animal stable without the comfort of a welcoming home. The newly born king, a gift of God to the world, lay in a simple manger, lovingly supervised by Mary his mother and Joseph his father. To honor the King who was about to be born were the heavenly angels, the simple and humble shepherds, the wise kings with their gifts, together with the sheep, the goats, the cows. This Christmas scene depicts the gift of loving parents to children, the most precious gift of Christ as savior of the world".
In the note sent to Fides Fr. Ambrose recalls that the authentic spirit of Christmas - often misrepresented in the consumerist practice that encourages spending on toys, sweets, decorations and parties - is found in the humble birth of the Christ Child who "invites to look at the crib and reflect on the gift that is each of us". "As parents and children, - continues Father Pereira - we are invited to be the gift of every member of our family. May our gift be of love and understanding, acceptance and forgiveness, joy and happiness in each of our homes and families. Instead of a new iPad, the latest iPhone or the most expensive digital device, let us spend more quality time with each other".
Furthermore, Christmas brings a spirit of conversion, which is also expressed towards Creation: "Christmas calls us to a pastoral, cultural and environmental conversion. Everyone is invited to join forces and network with the Church and civil society groups to preserve God's Creation. We can look for ways to ensure that the planet is preserved for future generations. Let us also treasure the gift of the Earth", he concludes. (AP) (Agenzia Fides, 23/12/2019)