Bishop’s Christmas Message 2021

Christmas Message for MJD 2021
Looking for Peace.

To you Catholics of the Malacca Johore Diocese, wishing you a blessed peace filled Christmas.

There are 2 sides to Christmas. The happy side is reflected In the  lights, the songs, the merriment, the festivity, the masses and services, the smiles and laughter, the food and feasting.

Christmas Surveys reveal that there is a sad side to the season. It is a time when the single, the poor, the aged and widowed experience loneliness, isolation and exclusion. Families feel left out where there is social comparisons. The extra preparations take the fun out of the celebration, and the coming together can be stressful, opening up relational issues and underlying problems. The highest rates of depression, loneliness, suicides are reported during Christmas. It is not surprising to find rising alcoholism and  more poor, more homeless and more refugees in the cold. Money makers continue to sell Christmas or even sell Jesus.

What kind of Christmas do you want? This is my friend’s Christmas and New Year Prayer –  To Be Peace in the midst of the storm. She wrote:

“This is something I am going to do quite a bit in 2022.
Walk away! Walk away from racism, lies, slander, hatred,
corruption, bullying, injustice and any thing that lower our
dignity to be fully human and humane.
Let there be joy, peace and charity. The flooding is timely.
Let’s wash ourselves of our collective sin of indifference.”

That’s where her peace is.

Sometimes our peace is when we stay away from negativism and unbelief.
Paulo Coelho said:

Walk away from people who put you down.
Walk away from fights that will never be resolved.
Walk away from trying to please people who will never see your worth.
The more you walk away from things that poison your soul, the healthier you will be.

Too much of bad air and negative people can be destructive and de-energising.

And yet there is another option, the way of Mother Teresa to be faithful and unwavering to the God image within. Her words were: Do It Anyway!

People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self centered.
Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives.
Be kind anyway.
If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies.
Succeed anyway.
If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you.
Be honest and sincere anyway.
What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight.
Create anyway.
If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous.
Be happy anyway.
The good you do today, will often be forgotten.
Do good anyway.
Give the best you have, and it will never be enough.
Give your best anyway.
In the final analysis, it is between you and God.
It was never between you and them anyway”. ~Mother Teresa

Like the shepherds, the people and the Magis, we are  looking for peace. Only the right  Action Brings Change. Be strong to walk away. Or be strong & stay with the God-image in you.

A blessed Christmas! May His Peace lead you always.