Christmas Day masses celebrated in Kohima
KOHIMA — Christ the King Church in Kohima village celebrated a solemn Christmas Day mass with Rev. Fr. Dr. P Suresh Innocent SDB, principal of Don Bosco College, Kohima, as the main celebrant.
In his sermon during the Christmas celebration, Fr. Suresh Innocent, emphasised the significance of ‘joy’ in connection with the Christmas festivities. He described this joy as comprising three essential components. According to him, ‘J’ represents ‘Jesus,’ the focal point of Christmas, while ‘O’ signifies ‘others,’ encouraging a spirit of sharing and caring for those in our midst and ‘Y’ symbolises ‘you,’ underscoring the personal and individual connection to the joyous celebration of Christmas.
The priest emphasised the importance of giving first place to Jesus in their Christmas festivities.
The faithful were encouraged to actively participate in church programmes, offer prayers during meals and engage in family prayers with the promise that through such devotion, Jesus would bring peace to their families.
Drawing a parallel to the birth of Jesus within a family, Fr. Innocent highlighted the significance of family prayer as a source of tranquility. He reminded the congregation to also give a place for themselves regardless of sins, failures, brokenness or weaknesses saying that the profound love of God is for each person.
St. Francis de Sales (SFS) Parish in Kohima town also celebrated Christmas mass on December 25.
In his sermon, Rev. Fr. Vinod Varghese OSJ, assistant priest of SFS, reflected on the profound meaning of Christmas. Stating that exchange of traditional gifts on this day symbolise the blessings people share, he emphasised that the true essence lies in the ‘indescribable and inexpressible gift’ received through Jesus from heaven.
Fr. Vinod urged the congregation to recognise that the ultimate possession in their lives is Jesus Christ.
He stressed the need to explore this gift through Christ and to share the good news by drawing parallels with the shepherds, who spread the birth of Saviour Jesus.
Describing Christmas as a ‘feast of possibilities,’ he emphasised that ‘nothing is impossible with God.’
He highlighted the humility of God in the form of a human being and challenged people to become more like God. He said that “Christ is the name of the highest possibility in this life.”
Using the Christmas crib as an example, he noted how Christ, who gave a place for mankind, had no place during His birth except for a congested manger with a handful of people.
Fr. Vinod posed a question if they were inside the manager with the Lord or outside while reminding the believers to give space to those they have rejected in their lives, fostering closeness to both people and God with love in their hearts.
“Let our celebration be more meaningful with a new experience in our lives by giving space to others to become closer to Christ and by sharing His valuable gift with others,” he concluded.
Simultaneously, Rev. Fr. Mathew Mhabemo, parish priest of SFS, delivered a similar message at the parish hall, while Fr. Vinod presided over another mass earlier.
Prior to the Christmas celebrations, Catholics observed ‘novena’ adding a spiritual dimension to the festive preparations.
Similarly, Christmas Day masses were celebrated at Jakhama Catholic Church and Mary Help of Christians Cathedral among others in Kohima.