Mangaluru Diocese episcopal city varado organized ‘Christmas Souharda Koota’ at Milagres hall here on Wednesday, December 17.
Addressing the gathering, Dr Hannibal Cabral, principal of the city-based Karnataka Theological College, Balmatta, said, “People rejoice when a child is born in the family. When Jesus was born, the entire world was rejoicing. It was the shepherds who had the first privilege of witnessing the good tiding. The birth of Jesus was symbolic. The shepherds were treated as outcaste in society and Christ’s birth amidst the lower strata of society meant he was in the world not for the rich but for the downtrodden. These shepherds were very poor yet pure at heart, and could witness the manifestation of god’s love for mankind.
“We have to love one another in order to make this Christmas meaningful. At a time when society is wrought by evil designs, we have to dedicate our life for others and spread the message of peace in this Christmas season,” he added.
Prof Prabhakar Neermarga, deputy registrar, Mangalore University, said, “Jesus gave a message of peace and love to the world. The birth of Jesus is celebrated throughout India as a national festival. In the world where there is corruption, terrorism and violence, Jesus needs to be born again to create peace in society. Christmas is a feast of happiness and brotherhood.”
Mohammad Kunhi, director of Shanti Prakash, said, “Jesus taught us ‘Insaniyat’ (humanity). Our forefathers did not have the facilities which we have today but they lived in peace. Today we have everything but no peace. People used to care for others but now people have become sadists.”
Speaking about the attack on children in Pakistan’s Peshawar, he said that the entire world came together to mourn for the deceased irrespective of religion.
“Mangaluru plane crash had also brought people together. They helped each other irrespective of religion. These examples show instances of ‘Insaniyat’ which is still alive in society.
“Love is not a discovery of science. Religion teaches love. The messages of Jesus and other prophets are essential for the 21st century. Human beings are under a lot of pressure and pain which lead to lack of peace in the society,” he added.
“The Holy Quran doesn’t have any chapter on the mother of Prophet Mohammad but it has one detailed chapter on Mother Mary. The prophets are not amongst us today, but their message will stay alive in our hearts. Let us follow the message of Jesus and celebrate this Christmas,” he said.
Bishop Aloysius Paul D’Souza, said, “The tableau this evening gave a very good Christmas message, and I extend hearty congratulations to all who prepared it. Christmas is celebrated all through the world and Jesus came with the message of love and peace. When he was born there was no place for Jesus. He came into the world and fed the poor and cured the leprosy patients. Jesus followed the message of ‘Sharing and Caring’. The same message was followed by Mother Teresa for which she was awarded the Nobel peace prize. Serving the downtrodden is serving God.
“Jesus asked to love one another as we love ourselves. Are we doing it now? We are filled with jealousy, hatred and anger. In the present world, we have to become the messengers of peace. Let us follow the example of Jesus,” wished the bishop.
A tableau conveying the Christmas message was prepared and directed by Christopher D’Souza and presented by Mandd Sobhann.