When we are in communion with Almighty God,
we experience PEACE

Dear Members of the English-speaking Catholic Community,

When we study sciences, explore the cosmos, experience the changing of seasons, realise that human life on this earth is limited and in many more ways, we can know with certainty that there exists an Almighty. This is possible because every human person has been gifted with reason which is a natural gift given to us by God our creator. However, with human reason alone, we cannot comprehend the eternal destiny of the human person. We then need to rely on Divine Revelation that is found in Sacred Scripture - the Bible.

It is in the Bible that we find, how God gradually in time, reveals himself to humankind and makes known the mystery of his will. God’s will is to communicate his own divine life, making the human person capable to respond to him and to offer eternal communion for all who want to believe and who want to live a life in Faith. This divine act of God comes from God’s initiative, a gratuitous gift flowing from his love and mercy, expressing that all human persons should have access to the Father, through Jesus Christ, the Word made flesh in the Holy Spirit, in order to share in his divine nature.

God reveals his plan not only in words but concretely through the birth of and the sending of Jesus Christ into the world. It is the one true God, that comes to meet humankind in and through the salvific mission of Jesus Christ. The birth of Jesus is God entering our world, in its human-made poverty and impoverishment, to embrace his creation and to reveal the future of human life. Christmas, is thus a thanksgiving feast that we celebrate.

Although human sin did not break away God’s communication as God revealed himself to our first parents, he continues with the covenant made to Noah after the flood, that gives an expression to limit the pride of fallen humanity through the divisions of many ‘nations’ each with their ‘particular language’.

God then chooses Abraham and blesses him as the father of a multitude of nations. God chooses ‘Israel’ to form his chosen people. These were people who professed the faith of Abraham. Then God chooses Moses, after he freed his people ‘Israel’ from slavery in Egypt, and establishes a covenant on Mount Sinai. God chooses holy men - the prophets to proclaim the one true God and to prophesize the birth of a saviour. Thus, in the letter of St. Paul to the Hebrews, we read, ‘in many and various ways God spoke to our fathers by the prophets but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son’ (Heb1,1-2).
Therefore, it is in and through the ‘Son of God’ the ‘Word made Flesh’ that God has revealed to humankind all that we need to know about our salvation and our future life. The new and eternal covenant established by Jesus Christ is thus applicable to all human persons. Christmas is this manifested presence and the gift of God in our midst that we celebrate.

Jesus Christ established the new and eternal covenant through his death on the cross for all, through his resurrection and his ascension. Jesus Christ also established the Church for all. This Church provides us all the means through the Sacraments of life to attain salvation and it is in Sacred Scripture that the Church constantly finds nourishment and strengths for us to live up to the teachings of Christ in our world of today.

Yes, our world of today, is characterized by mass migration and poverty. Migration in itself is a human phenomenon. Groups of humans always have moved to places where they thought they could find a better way of life with more luxuries. Attempts to regulate and limit these movements through laws and official gazettes have not proved always to be successful, since such attempts have been used by the economic giants to maximize their profits. At the same time, it has been proved that illegal workers are of crucial importance for the sustainability of industrial development.

Our world of today in Europe, depends on the present and future immigrants to care for the on-going needs in society. However, on the other hand, many migrants are excluded from the benefits of our society. It is not just ‘finding a job’ in Europe today, but more so migrants risk their own life, often with their family, in order to find better living conditions. Worse still, are those who are forced to leave their homeland due to war and violence and to seek asylum in Europe. Their labour in developed countries is often exploited by the mafias trafficking in human persons.

Our world of today, in a globalized structure depends on mobility. The economy demands a totally free flow of goods and finances that promote the transfer of the labour force for bigger profits. Together with the positive sides of development, human trafficking thrives in cheap labour, slavery and prostitution on an international level. Do we want to see this in the 21st century?

In the context of what we realize as migrants in this Mission, migrants are challenged to integrate. This aspect is precisely addressed by our Archdiocese, not only with projects carried out by Caritas institutions but also giving migrants an opportunity to pray in their mother-tongue language, to celebrate Holy Mass in their vernaculars, to be integrated in a community of Faith, to search for and to seek the triune God in the Sacraments of the Church.

At this Christmas, we are all confronted with a world looking for new answers and a shared commitment to the dignity of the human person, to peace, and the rejection of war and terrorism. We are all personally challenged to be heralds of peace and justice, in humility and perseverance. We would then want to assist other persons and migrants in their search for God and to be in communion with the triune God. This is the challenge for us at this Christmas!

When we are in communion with Almighty God, we not only cooperate in God’s will but we experience the peace gifted to us by the birth, the sending and the mission of Jesus Christ at Christmas, to build the one family of God.

I wish you a holy Christmas on this long journey ahead of each of us.

Cletus Colaço SVD.
Leiter der Englischsprachigen Katholischen Gemeinde.

The Universal International Day of the Poor
- Erster Welttag der Armen -

We welcome the teachings of our
Holy Father Pope Francis
at the universal level,
when he speaks of mass migration
that causes mass poverty, broken families and homes.

The International World Day of the Poor
- Erster Welttag der Armen –
is observed every year on the 33rd Sunday
in the liturgical calendar.