Instill Hope in a Hopeless World; Bishop Peter Paul Saldanha – KONKANCATHOLIC.COM

Instill Hope in a Hopeless World; Bishop Peter Paul Saldanha

December 21, 2023

Mangaluru: In his Christmas message on Thursday, December 23, Rt. Rev. Dr. Peter Paul Saldanha, the bishop of the Mangaluru Diocese, emphasised the importance of instilling hope in a hopeless world.

In his address, he said, “The daily news tells us that hatred, caste-based, religion-based discrimination, and violence are reigning in our world. Wars, destruction, pain, death, and misery are hitting headlines. As Pope Francis calls it, we are having “Piecemeal World War III.” Desperation and suicides are on the increase. Everything seems to point to a hopeless world. Only money and hunger for power seem to be the main concerns. Indifference is rampant everywhere. It is a world of selfies; each one is concentrating on oneself. A true remedy and liberation are not visible”.

“In this context, we celebrate Christmas, the feast of the birth of Jesus Christ. It is the “Feast of God with Us.” At his birth, the angel announced to the shepherds, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord” (Lk  2:10–11).Those shepherds were living in a society oppressed by the Roman army. Death and darkness were everywhere.”.

“The shepherds expected good news of freedom from oppression. But with his birth, the focus has changed. It is not any more on the Roman emperor and his kingdom, but on one who will bring down the mighty from their thrones and raise up the lowly. Jesus will do it not with weapons but by winning the hearts of enemies through love, forgiveness, prayer, and penance. He uses powerful spiritual weapons. He will live by what he teaches. He will walk the talk”.

“Jesus teaches us that violence, oppression, hatred, injustice, and discrimination cannot rule the world. Even if one wins power for some time by hook or crook, after his death, he will be conveniently forgotten or not loved. Only the method of winning over the enemy by loving him has eternal life. Jesus’ birth is a matter of great joy because he instills hope for a new life. He accompanies us even today, in all difficulties, to live life meaningfully”.

“In our painful context, Christ is born as the “Prince of Peace.” Let us be sure: no peace is possible without forgiveness and love. No peace is possible in the face of discrimination and injustice. Only love and forgiveness are the remedies. Anyone who acts on these latter ones is on the side of God. In them, joy dawns from within. Jesus invites us to instill hope in the hopeless. If we instill hope in any one person and help him or her, then we have done much. Let us be people who lift the spirits of the people higher and higher. Let us fill a hopeless world with hope. Happy Christmas and a joy-filled New Year 2024″

VG of the Mangalore Diocese, Fr Maxim Noronha, PRO, Fr J B Saldanha, DPP Secretary, Dr John D’Silva, and Elias Fernandes were present.

Media Release, Photos: Pachhu Perar & CCC