12/24/2018, 15.39
SRI LANKA
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Sri Lankan bishops call on the faithful to celebrate a Christmas of charity for the poor

by Melani Manel Perera

“The development of human beings can happen only in a society where there is mutual respect, justice and peace,” the Bishops’ Conference says in its Christmas message. “A sincere commitment by everyone is needed to create such an environment in our country,” they add. A Catholic leader juxtaposes the inn, symbol of extreme consumerism, to the manger, symbol of simplicity.

Colombo (AsiaNews) – The Bishops of Sri Lanka have called on the faithful to celebrate Christmas with charity for the poor in their Christmas message.

“Let us commit ourselves to change all that is not in keeping with God's holy will in our midst by becoming agents of peace, harmony and reconciliation and by forgetting the petty difference which hinder the common good,” said the official statement released by the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Sri Lanka (CBCSL).

For the CBCSL, Christmas have a duty to be more sensitive to the human needs and sufferings that prevail in our country.

“As Jesus was born among the poor, Christmas invites us to pay careful attention to the poor and be sensitive to the various forms of human needs and sufferings prevailing in our society. The question of poverty can be alleviated only by creating just economic structures.”

According to the bishops, "The development of human beings can happen only in a society where there is mutual respect, justice and peace. A sincere commitment by everyone is needed to create such an environment in our country.”

Sanjeewa Indrajith, a member of the Apostolate of Renewal, agrees with the bishops’ appeal for an environmentally friendly society and the rediscovery of the humble origins of Christmas.

He noted how Christ came into the world in a manger, surrounded by the warmth of ox and sheep and the gifts brought by Three Wise Men. In light of this, “we must promote an eco-friendly Christmas. Let us rediscover that Christ was born in the midst of nature."

The Catholic man compares the image of the inn where Mary and Joseph sought accommodation for birth of the son of God with that of the manger.

"The inn is synonymous with obsessive consumerism, the culture of waste, competition, free markets. The manger instead indicates simplicity, quiet, serenity, care, love and the spirit of communion.”

As the story in Genesis put it, God stopped to observe what he had created, and "saw that it was good" (Gen. 1:18). Thus, "Let us abandon the inn full of consumerism and let the manger prevail, which is a symbol of simplicity, a genuine lifestyle, care and love".

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