Posted: Thursday, December 22, 2022. 10:18 am CST.
By Aaron Humes: As many prepare for a weekend full of merriment, remarks Bishop of the Diocese of Belize City-Belmopan Lawrence Nicasio, you will hear complaints of the loss of “culture” – a gift once lived in history, in togetherness, in identity, but largely discarded in favour of secular, modern living.
But for Christians, he exhorts in his Christmas message, “The gift of his breath of life lasts forever” – it cannot be bought or sold; it is not here today and gone tomorrow, easily destroyed; yet so many do not appreciate and respect it, and many more fail to use it not only for ourselves but to do good for others.
Bishop Nicasio calls for a season of “prayer, listening, discernment, and encounter with God and one another” as part of the Church’s synodal journey toward a new way of doing things, of saying yes to the greatest gift of all, opened at Christmastime every year.
And he reminds, “The Christmas Season is not supposed to be a stressful time. It is not a time to be envious or jealous of others. It is not a time to outdo each other on material possessions. The Shepherds and Magi in Scripture were satisfied with God seeing them worthy to be sharers in the gift of his Son, Jesus. They came to the stable as they were, showing their great love for God, and at the same time showing their full understanding of the meaning of the moment and the meaning of Christmas. The Shepherds and magi, after seeing the Lord of Christmas, did not go on a shopping spree, or did they decide to keep Christmas for themselves. They left Jesus, Mary, and Joseph with full hearts; they left glorifying God for the greatest gift they ever received; a gift they paid not even one cent for.”
The Christian culture is guided by centuries-old tradition of glorying God and his son, not by the changing world around us that claims to know what’s in and what’s not – God is always in season and the choice is to be guided by him or to flounder without him.
And the Bishop concludes, “This is our opportunity to embrace this new way of being Church; this new way of embracing Christmas and living Christmas with and for others. (Sharing life with those who hardly have gotten over the recent hurricane Lisa.) May we be blessed in a special way during this synodal journey as we celebrate, with each other, our thankfulness and love to God this Christmas 2022. A Savior has been born to us! He is Christ and Lord. He is Emmanuel! …Peace and Love! Paz y Amor! Daranguiluo luma Isieni!”
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