Christmas brings reflection and celebrations
Dimapur, December 27
[dropcap]A[/dropcap]mid the sound of loud crackers bursting across Dimapur city, the Catholic community of Dimapur solemnly celebrated Christmas Eve at the Holy Cross Church in Dimapur on the eve of Christmas.
Most Revered Dr. James Thoppil, Bishop of Kohima was the principal celebrant of the event, the church informed in a note on Saturday. Parish Priest Rev. Fr. Thomas PJ, accorded a warm welcome to Bishop James Thoppil, Fr. Nestor Guria, the Salesian provincial, Fr. Bosco, the vice-provincial, and to all other fathers, sisters, dignitaries and people during the event.
In his homily, the bishop said that Christmas was the story of love – self-emptying love of God to enrich humans, so that humans may ‘become divine.’
“There is the inner and insatiable longing for God in the human heart which only God, born in the manger can fill it. Bishop urged everyone to let God enter their lives by paying heed to the words of Christ’s teaching and values,” the church stated in the note.Before the conclusion of the Christmas service Fr. Thomas PJ requested the community to pray for the repose of the soul Rev. Fr. Joseph Edakuddan, who died on December 22. The celebrations culminated with a procession with the ‘baby Jesus to be placed in the crib.’ The faithful from the community greeted each other and shared cakes and tea as a sign of their fellowship, the church informed.
The bishop was also the main celebrant at the Christmas-Day-Mass at the Mary Help of Christian Cathedral, Kohima, along with Rev. Fr. Carolus Neisalhou, Vicar General of the Diocese of Kohima and other priests and hundreds of people participating in it.
In his homily, the bishop reiterated that the story of Christmas, of incarnation as presented in the prologue of St. John’s Gospel is repeated year after year. “Jesus comes to us a light and all those who accept the light become children of God. But many prefer darkness because to accept Jesus the light demands cleansing of oneself from works of darkness,” the church noted, quoting the speaker.
The church quoted this message: “At the first incarnation some accepted Jesus’ presence while many others rejected it. Referring to the second reading of the day from the letter to the Hebrews the bishop said that Jesus is the ultimate and final speech of God to humanity and only through Him and in Him we have the possibility of salvation.
“Each one appropriate the salvation brought by Jesus to the extent one inculcate and live the commandment of Love. It is through love and love alone that one becomes and known as a disciple of Jesus. Love gives life and lack of love leads to death. Christmas is the repeated story of God’s love.”
The solemn Christmas celebration at the Cathedral church concluded with several other events such as sports competitions. The highlights also included a tug of war, “busting of balloons,” a raffle and community interactions.
The bishop also blessed a jubilee memorial, a children’s park, as well as a grotto at the Little Flower School in the presence of the Sr. Ldyia, the Superior, Sr. Anna Molly, the Principal Sr. Mable, the vice provincial and other sisters, people and students.