Singapore (AsiaNews) - Christ came into the world choosing "the way of humility and lowliness so that He could [. . .] share our fragile human condition" like a "little baby without power or strength," said Mgr William Goh, archbishop of Singapore in his Christmas message to the city's Catholic community.
"By His coming, He came to teach us how to love, so that we too might have [eternal) life," because happiness is not linked to positions or honours, but "is given to those who are capable of love." Indeed, "Jesus shows us the way to the heart of God. By identifying ourselves with God and loving as He did, we too can participate in His joy and peace."
In Singapore Catholics number more than 200,000, or 5 per cent of the total population. Buddhism is the largest religion with 43 per cent. Christians are 18 per cent; Muslims, 15; Hindus, 11; and Taoists 5.
The Church in the city-state is experiencing a period of growth and dynamism, which has led to the recent opening of a theological seminary, a "milestone" for the local community, which bears witness to the Christian message in a Confucian society where power, social status, and wealth are the ideals of life.
In his Christmas message, the archbishop calls on the faithful to allow "Jesus to be born in our hearts" through baptism and repentance from all sins.
Christmas celebrations are the exaltation of God made flesh, so that all of us can "appropriate the gift of the Holy Spirit". Indeed, Christmas is much more than the birth of Jesus in a stable in Bethlehem, he added, it is not simply "a historical event but an existential event."
For this reason, the prelate calls on the faithful to follow the shepherds, who were "ever ready" to "obey and respond" to God's call, as well to share the "Good News to inspire faith" as the shepherds did, by announcing the child's birth.
Mgr Goh stressed the "need to contemplate His love over and over again in quiet prayer," because "There are many things in life that cannot be understood with the head, and all at once. We need time to think, feel and pray".
Lastly, "let us be the bearers of the Good News of hope, peace and love to the world," the Archbishop of Singapore noted.
"[M]ay the joy and peace of the Christ-child be yours as you make the Good News your own."
"A blessed and holy Christmas to all!"