Sunday, December 30, 2007

In Navitate Domino, Spes in Asia

Thought your place was crowded on Christmas?

The scene above: a Midnight Mass in Huai'an, China.

In his Christmas message, Fr Bernardo Cervellera, the editor of the Rome-based outlet AsiaNews and a member of the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions, wrote thus:

In our work as witnesses for the people and the Church in Asia, very often we have to denounce imprisonment, violence, wars, and trade in human lives. But this is just one side of the coin. The other speaks of mans’ rebirth, of the vitality of these Churches, of martyrdom and fertility. The multiple signs of life in the Church in Asia (in Iraq, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Vietnam, China and even North Korea) and their witness of charity in their society, confirm to us that Christ is born and that he does not abandon man to a tragic destiny.

Too often for us in the West Christmas is a “celebration, without the Celebrated”, when we exchange gifts without ever really exchanging The Gift. Knowing and sharing the experiences of our many brothers and sisters in Asia, which we recount on these pages, is a way for us to rediscover within ourselves and our situations the dignity and the beauty of being a human person loved by God, who came to be close to us.

Remember, it's still the Octave -- today's gift: Geese-a-Laying -- so continued wishes for a Merry Christmas to you and yours.

PHOTO: Reuters/Patty Chen