As the Common Candidate contesting on 8 January 2015 to be elected as President of The Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, I consider myself fortunate that I have received the opportunity to address all Christians in Sri Lanka as they prepare to celebrate the Christmas season.
Each year in December, we commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ, the Son of God who came to earth to redeem the world from sin. The nativity story reminds all Christians that God did not choose a woman from high society to bring forth his son into the world but a young and incorrupt girl who led an ordinary life in Jewish Society. Christians will also reflect over the Christmas season that Jesus Christ was born to the Blessed Virgin Mary in a cattle shed and laid in a manger.
This is how God humbled himself to bring his own Son into the world of men. Humility therefore is an important value of Christianity and it is a value to be cultivated and upheld by the devotees of any religion.
The life story of Jesus Christ, born two millennia ago tells us that his whole life was devoted to battling injustice. He waged this struggle against rulers and high priests who were corrupt. He tried to show them the way.
His Holiness Pope Francis recalled on 8 November 2013 that in one of his sermons Christ said, “It would be better for him (a corrupt person) if a millstone was put around his neck and he be thrown into the sea.” His Holiness Pope Francis on this occasion described the people engaged in corruption as ‘whitewashed tombs’ and explained ‘they appear beautiful from outside but inside they are dead bones and putrefaction’. His Holiness observed that ‘those who take kickbacks have lost their dignity and give their children dirty bread’ and prayed ‘that the Lord may change the hearts of those who worshiped the kickback god’.
My dear Christian brothers and sisters, as you prepare to celebrate the birth of Christ, I urge the community to think of the mission of Jesus Christ on earth and the principles for which he strived and ultimately sacrificed his life. I fervently hope that you will resolve to emulate him every day. Those who follow Christ the great teacher, will no doubt become righteous people to be admired and emulated in turn by all right thinking citizens of the country.
As we all eagerly await the arrival of His Holiness Pope Francis in our motherland, it is also apt for all Christians to give effect to his preaching by their own way of life.
I hope that your firm resolution to follow Jesus Christ will kindle in your hearts peace and tranquillity which will in turn bring the joy of Christmas to your homes and all those around you.
May I take this opportunity dear brothers and sisters to remind you that at a time our country is embroiled in corruption it is the duty of every Christian to act and live in consonance with the principles that Christ enunciated so that our motherland will be a place you and your children can live in with dignity and honour.
From the bottom of my heart I wish all Christian brethren a blessed, peaceful and a happy Christmas.
Since Christmas is a time that children enjoy the most, I take this opportunity to wish them all a joyous Christmas and a happy holiday season.