That we are already at the closure of the year 2020 is a fact unimaginable though true all the more because the past months we all have spent, some under lockdown and others in which we have locked ourselves in have given us an experience of slowdown in our life activities. . Let us praise and thank God for protecting us from the corona virus disaster though some among us perhaps would have had it without our knowing it because in good many cases it was asymptomatic. The news is around that vaccine is round the corner but who has the accessibility and its availability to the needy and vulnerable will be a matter of concern and apprehension. Let us all hope for the best.
The closure of the month of December 2020 will pave the way for New Year 2021 in which we will surely carry forward our fear of Covid -19 and concern for its arrest through an effective vaccine so that human life in all its stages will be able to enjoy its growth, freedom and progress in the secular world and live without fear, anxiety and restrictions in the practice of faith, prayer and worship. What the humanity all over the world has undergone is unfathomable change of life situation sad but true but at the same time this pandemic has also brought the world together in the fight against this pandemic, the care and concern for the weak, the needy poor and the vulnerable and has taught families of the need and meaning of togetherness, availability and a deep sense of its values.
The highlight of December is CHRISTMAS. This solemnity of the Birth of Our Lord Jesus Christ must always be on the top of our agenda of everyday life because “when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law” (Gal. 4:4). God entered our human history in the person of Jesus, heaven was opened for us; we became God’s children and Christ made God’s love tangible for us. Let us therefore keep this Christmas quite alive and celebrate it with great joy and enthusiasm. This is possible only if and when we embrace the Christmas gifts of peace, joy and love and not just feast on kuswar, cakes and new cloths and put up cribs, stars and Christmas trees and decorate them. The outer (external) joy must reflect and come from the inner peace, love and happiness – result of the priceless gifts of Christmas which we all can give and show to each other without any cost. These gifts were received by the humanity from the poverty of the manger where Christ was born and hence continue to be dispensed to all people of goodwill. Let us therefore make these eternal gifts from the Babe born at Bethlehem as our own and pass them on to others as our CHRISTMAS GIFTS.
I wish each and every one of you a very happy and peace-filled Christmas. May God who has become Emmanuel bless you.
X Gerald Isaac Lobo
Bishop of Udupi