Archbishop of Colombo Oswald Gomis has challenged Sri Lankan Catholics to promote reconciliation among all the people and races in the island nation, The Sunday Times reports.
Archbishop Gomis noted that Christmas was arriving even amid dark clouds of war. “As we sing and rejoice in some parts of the country there is bitter suffering and agony in others,” he said.
The archbishop noted the sometimes life-threatening disruptions many Sri Lankans face. He said there were thousands homeless, children deprived of education, and people displaced from work. Though these afflictions should not prevent Catholics from celebrating Christmas, the feast must not be “just the celebration of a birth.” Instead, Christmas should be “a renewal of our commitment to Jesus Christ and to His mission on earth.”
The mission of Jesus, Archbishop Gomis said, was reconciliation: “to reconcile God and man and man with man. Jesus showed that all of us, regardless of color, creed, or caste, are brothers and sisters. This means that “love should be the guiding principle of all human beings.”
The archbishop said this love was best embodied in the Crucifixion, where Christ laid down His life not only for His friends but also His enemies. Christians, he said, cannot forget their role to reconcile people where there is strife and dissension.