Christians in Seychelles join the rest of the world on Tuesday in celebrating Christmas, an annual festival commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ, on December 25.
Believers in the island nation in the western Indian Ocean attend mass in their respective parishes.
As Catholics and Anglicans celebrate this important event, the leaders of the island nation’s two Dioceses — Bishop Denis Wiehe and the Right Reverend James Wong — sent messages of Christmas, saying that Jesus is the reason and the gift for Christmas.
Bishop Wiehe said, “Jesus is in the heart of the manger. The soft light and the deep peace that radiates from the manger come from the Child-God. It is the mystery of love because God is love. Only infinite love in God could imagine coming in this way to manifest ourselves to us: to be born among us and to become the Child-God in the heart of our life.”
Bishop Wiehe thanked all the organisations and people who work with determination and love for those left out of society. (Joena Meme) Photo license: CC-BY
Wiehe’s wish for this festive season is for people to remember the poorest of the society at this time.
He said that the shepherds who were the first to receive the message of the birth of the Son of God were the poorest of the society of the time.
“These shepherds are also the first who came from outside to worship the Child-God of the manger. It reminds us that God loves the poor: the marginalised in our society have the first place in the heart of God. Thank you to all the organisations and people who work with determination and love for those left out of society,” said the Catholic Bishop.
Wiehe thanked all those who believe and faithfully worship the living God in saying, “Thank you for Mary and Joseph and for all the witnesses of the faith who encourage us to return to the mystery of love and to become believers too.”
For his part, the Right Reverend James Wong asked believers if they know why there is a Christmas celebration.
”My dearly beloved, the key to appreciate why we really celebrate Christmas is the that God our Father in His great love sent His Son Jesus to come on Earth, to live as one of us. He was crucified but he did not remain in the tomb. Jesus rose from the dead and will never die again. He is alive today and forever,” Wong.
Bishop Wong said,”Jesus is the reason for Christmas, the only reason to celebrate Christmas.” (Joena Meme) Photo license: CC-BY
The Anglican Bishop said that Christmas will only have real meaning if believers realise that the baby in the stable is Jesus, the Son of God who was raised from the dead.
“Jesus is the reason for Christmas, the only reason to celebrate Christmas. Jesus came to earth on the 1st Christmas to save us, to reconcile us to God, to give us harmony with Him again. Jesus came to earth to give us the gift of himself, the gift of eternal life. Let us unwrap the gift and accept the free gift of salvation,” said Wong.
He concluded his message in wishing “a blessed Christmas and a peaceful and prosperous New Year 2019 to you my dear fellow pilgrims on our earthly journey.”
Source: Seychelles News Agency