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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2422

Archbishop Oswald Gomis castigated those who became inhuman and lost the regard for human life and values

Colombo, 25 December, (Asiantribune.com): At a midnight Christmas mass, Archbishop Oswald Gomis said, Once again we celebrate Christmas at the time when the dark clouds of war are enveloping our country. Archbishop Oswald Gomis: "We have come together to celebrate at a time when our own brothers and sisters are undergoing untold hardships and sufferings, children are kidnapped, stolen and killed" Archbishop Oswald Gomis: "We have come together to celebrate at a time when our own brothers and sisters are undergoing untold hardships and sufferings, children are kidnapped, stolen and killed"

He added, “As we sing and rejoice in some parts of the country there is bitter suffering and agony in others. Apart from the war there are other factors that disturb the normalcy of life and even threaten the life of citizens. There are thousands still left homeless and forced by circumstances to flee into the jungles. Children are deprived of education and many others are displaced from their homes and work places.”

"We need to change our hearts to bring peace our Motherland, respect human rights, give prominence to human values, accept all as our own brothers and sisters and show God's love to everyone. Jesus Our Saviour said, ' what profit you will have if you love only those who love you? What profit you will have if you orgive only those who forgive you?” said Archbishop Oswald Gomis.

His Grace the Archbishop presided at the Mid Night Christmas Mass at the Basilica of Our Lady of Lanka, Tewatta, Ragama together with the Administrator of Basilica Rev. Fr. Merl Shanthi, Fr. Sanjeewa Perera, Fr. Edwin Fernando, Fr. Jude Algama and Fr. Alexis Benedict.

Archbishop Oswald Gomis went on to say

" We have come together to celebrate at a time when our own brothers and sisters are undergoing untold hardships and sufferings, children are kidnapped, stolen and killed ; today we hear these incidents often taking place in our country. This shows how we have become inhuman and lost the regard for human life and values.

“Once again we celebrate Christmas at the time when the dark clouds of war are enveloping our country. As we sing and rejoice in some parts of the country there is bitter suffering and agony in others. Apart from the war there are other factors that disturb the normalcy of life and even threaten the life of citizens. There are thousands still left homeless and forced by circumstances to flee into the jungles. Children are deprived of education and many others are displaced from their homes and work places.

“While all this should not deprive us from celebrating the feast of Christmas reasonably commemorating the birth of Jesus, our celebration should not simply be the commemoration of a historic event nor should it be just the celebration of a birth. It should rather be a renewal of our commitment to Jesus Christ and to His mission on earth.

“The mission of Jesus was that of reconciliation. He was on earth to reconcile God and man and man and man. To this effect He showed us that our God is a kind and sympathetic Father. He also showed that all of us, irrespective of our colour, creed, caste or any other consideration are brothers and sisters of one another. As such love should be the guiding principle of all human beings. He proved his conviction by laying down his life not only for his friends but also for his enemies. Thus, especially those of us who profess to be Christians cannot forget our role as men and women committed to bring about reconciliation where there is strife and dissension.

“There is no secret about the fact that there is dissension and division among the inhabitants of our dear land. We are divided on race and religion not to mention caste. And sadly there are persons among us who foster such division to promote their own selfish ends.

“It is time that we realize the folly of division and engage in building unity and harmony among all those who are entitled to live in this blessed Sri Lanka. We could do this only by building mutual confidence and not but force and suppression. Unless the forces for good join and work together at this crucial juncture of our country's history the forces of evil are bound to prevail.

“As Christians we are privileged to have within our community members of both the major racial groups in this country. I believe this gives us a greater responsibility to play the role of mediation among the two groups. Let us resolve during this Christmas to be true imitators of Christ and be committed peacemakers so that we may really be God's children seeing the words of Christ "Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the children of God." (Mt 5:9) fulfilled in us.

With prayers and my cordial blessing,

Yours devotedly in Christ,

Archbishop Oswald Gomis,

Archbishop of Colombo

- Asian Tribune -

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