9th DAY CHRISTMAS NOVENA MASS
SUB- THEME: RELIGION AND FRATERNITY
The different religions of the world recognize human beings as God's creatures. Our lives are precious gift of God and we are created for live according to God’s purpose.
As creatures, we are in a relationship of fraternity. We are being called social beings that we have to realize that we are not self sufficient. We need each other to survive, to be happy and to find meaning in our co- existence. No man is an island. Religions are called to the service of fraternity in the world. They do not only help us realize that we are from God but also we are brothers and sisters because we have one Father who created us. The Gospel of Christ is necessary because it inspires our actions and commitments to work toward the realization the indeed we belong to one fraternity that is being children of God.
The gospel tells us about the assembly of the neighbourhood of Elizabeth and Zachariah. They were there to witness the favour the couple had received from God. He had shown His mercy and compassion for them by saving them from their belief that a childless couple is a curse from God. They rejoice and celebrate together for this divine gift. In a real Christian community, the happiness on one is the joy of all. Joy once shared is multiplied and likewise burden is eased.
Our being a community should be founded on solid ground. We belong to one fraternity because we are all children of God and this is the reason for Jesus incarnation. He is coming so that we will understand the God who created us. He is coming to teach us that we are God’s children. He is coming to show us the He is the way, the truth and the life which is our very own goal. We are brothers and sisters because we walk hand in hand towards that direction of eternity which is our destiny.
The name John is very interesting in our reflection for tonight. It is originally a Hebrew word which means “God is gracious or gift from God”. That is precisely who he is. He is a gift of God not only to the couple but for the whole humanity. He brought God to the people and the people to God.
This Christmas we are also being called to be like John. We can accomplish it by applying the two important principles of Fratelli tutti. First is to create a culture of encounter. We have to create an atmosphere of friendship by recognizing that each one of us is equally important. We have something to contribute. Your presence is indeed greatly missed and we cannot be a community without you. Second is the dynamism of charity. We are not only highly encouraged to be generous but we have to be like Jesus who made his life gift to us by bearing the burden of our sins. This is what love is to offer sacrifices for one another. This path of fraternity has a Mother called Mary. We ask for her intercession so that we might truly become brothers and sisters in Christ.