21/12/2012 10:58

Christmas Message from Bp.Rochus Tatamai, msc.

December 19, 2012

Dear my brothers and sisters in Christ

Advent, Christmas and New Year’s Seasons greetings to you all. Grace and peace of Our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all, your families and communities, friends and relatives. This Christmas-tide includes the spiritual preparations during Advent, the joyful celebration of the historical Baby-King born to us on Christmas day, and the welcome of the New Year of 2013 fill us with gratitude and thanksgiving to God for his love and goodness to us as individuals, families and communities.

The Year 2012 has been an eventful year with the Ad Limina Visit of the CBC PNGSI to Rome, (May-June) the centenary of Birth Year of Blessed Peter ToRot (1912 – 2012) with our focus on the renewal and evangelisation of Family life, the foundation Courses for Youth and Laity with “Learning by Doing, Doing by Learning Materials”, the focus on the Year of Communio (CBCPNGSI) and now the 50th Anniversary of the Opening of the Second Vatican II (1962 – 1912) with the declaration by Pope Benedict XVI of the Year of Faith (11th October 2012 – 24th November 2013).

During this Advent preparation and into the Christmas season, we are experiencing different moments of being together with each other and with our families. Since it is the annual school year break, a lot of children and teachers are home with their families and friends having their holidays. Others who are working as public Servants, in the private sector or self-employed are home in their villages with their families and relatives spending quality time together for a well-earned break while enjoying the company of everyone. Whatever you are doing in the spirit of the holidays and in the context of the different forms of celebration let us not forget the essential preparations for the real meaning of the Christmas Celebrations.

Make time to prepare your own personal, family and community and village CRIBS (featuring the Christmas Scene) so to make room for the Baby-King born in the midst of our lives, in the centre of your family and community human and spiritual experience. Invite others to come and pray, sing and reflect at your crib which meaningfully represents the Holy Family, with the parents (father and mother) and the Child (Jesus Our Lord and Saviour) in their midst.

Christmas is about God’s readiness and commitment to being one with us, the divine become flesh and is born to us as a child historically over 2000 years ago. Yet this is our reality to experience a-new and fresh in our midst so we can encounter God in our midst as being the centre of all that we do and the source and meaning of our lives.

This Christmas is the occasion for us to focus again on the beauty, essence and foundation of family life as this is the context and the place in which God chooses to come into our midst. Christmas is the occasion for all of us to appreciate and value the members of our families, stretching back to our great-grand-parents, forefathers and foremothers, the pioneer missionaries and their earlier collaborators and more nearer to us today as we recognize and honour our parents, fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters including all the members of our extended families.

Christmas is about God’s generosity and goodness towards our human family as he humbles himself to let go of his greatness, his glory, his divinity and come amongst us; as vulnerable as a helpless infant, born even in the humility and simplicity of a manger in the unknown town of Bethlehem.

We have so many lessons to draw from the Christmas event necessary for our basic human attitudes and awareness as regards our human dignity and our call to greatness and holiness. Christmas time reminds us that we are all children of God therefore we are all brothers and sisters to one another thus having only one Heavenly Father who cares so much for us that he gave us his only Son to be born like everyone of us being born to a human family with a human father and mother hence to be one and united with us in everything except sin. Such is the greatest privilege and grace of Christmas, God is Emmanuel – One who is with us in flesh, knows us making God to be very close and dear to us.

I pray that during this Advent, Christmas and New Year we will re-discover our true identity and dignity as human persons made in the image and likeness of God therefore we are all invited to reflect this dignity and vocation through our faithful living of our daily lives, as committed Single Persons, Married Couples with families and Consecrated Religious Men and Women and Priests allowing the Baby-King to be born in our midst and becomes the focus and center of our lives and activities.

May you all have a Blessed Christmas season and a grace-filled New Year 2013 and that throughout the “Year of Faith” you may take the occasion to grow to maturity in your Christian Faith and be deeply rooted in Christ who is the foundation, the source and ultimate fulfillment of all our lives and our being in and through Him, in the unity and communion of the Holy Spirit, in the Glory of God the Father...AMEN!

United with you in Prayer

Rochus Josef Tatamai msc

Bishop of Bereina