A message for the holidays

Christmas is here and the merriment is spreading. The city is colourful with decorations, everyone is busy Christmas shopping, and preparing the perfect feast. So now is that time of the year when we stop to look at ourselves and wonder what we can add to our lives this joyful season.

We spoke to a few of our friends on what they wish and hope to achieve this holiday season.
Here are a few Christmas messages that will hopefully add colour to your lives, so enjoy!

Bishop of Colombo, Rt. Rev. Dhiloraj R. Canagasabey

“We approach the end of another calendar year and the dawn of the Christmas season. For us humans, it is so very easy to lose focus when something becomes too familiar, and this is more so with Christmas. The many external elements associated with this deeply spiritual festival of the coming into this world of a baby who scripture refers to as ‘lmmanuel – God himself with us’, hides and makes us to forget the true meaning and significance of Christmas.

“The Gospel writers, Mathew and Luke do not also hide the striking paradoxes between the nature of this baby, who is referred to as the ‘Messiah, Prince of Peace, Saviour, Christ the Lord, Holy One, Son of the Most High, King of the Jews…’, on one hand, and the circumstances of his birth on the other; in the backyard of a lodging house, to a carpenter and his humble peasant wife, his first visitors, keepers of animals, very low down in the social hierarchy.

“This duality is seen right through the short earthly life of Jesus, hailed as the Teacher, Master, Rabbi, Anointed One, Messiah, Son of God, although he prefers to refer to himself as the ‘Son of Man’, as one ‘who comes to serve, rather than to be served’, as ‘having no place of his own to rest’. Finally, he is publicly executed like a common criminal.

“Christmas invites us to reflect on this duality or paradox and reminds us of the humility, servanthood, and sacrificial death of Jesus the Messiah, and of the path that we followers of the Master must ourselves tread.

“‘The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness, a light has dawned’ – lsaiah 9:2-7.

“At a time of uncertainty, darkness, and chaos in our dear land, let us resolve to walk in that light, so that the light of the incarnation will illuminate the darkness that threatens to engulf us all.

“I wish all our peoples a blessed, meaningful, and joyful season of Christmas and God’s Peace in the New Year.”

Venerable Bikkhuni, Meegoda Uththara

“With festivities coming up, and the many temptations driving our day-to-day lives, it is important that we make are determined to shed the negative emotions such as jealousy and pride and try to understand the meaning of life. As humans, we are gifted with capable brains and the ability to identify what is right and wrong and achieve eternal happiness. Every religion shows the path to this eternal happiness and it is my wish that we make a stern determination to achieve this.”

Kishu Gomes

“Something I wish people keep in mind this Christmas season, is to remember that it is important to focus on what they can to create value for them and for the country, rather than worrying about things they don’t control.”

Kapila Rasnayake

“I will tell you a simple recipe to stay happy this Christmas season, and it is as easy as two steps. Try to understand that people are different and accept the differences. Then, it is just a matter of time before you let your ego down and let people into your lives. Let your ego go this holiday season.”

Ashok Ferrey

“This Christmas, we must be grateful that democracy is still hanging on, even if it is barely able to breathe on its life support machine. As for our blessed parliamentarians, may their chairs be ever unbroken, their lives chilli-free.”

Alanki Kishani Perera

“Something I believe we keep in our minds this time of year is to appreciate the people in our lives, their support and love. We should reflect on all the blessings in our life and the things we take for granted. This Christmas, we must stop and smell the roses.”

Shanuki de Alwis

“This Christmas I’m grateful for the challenges I’ve faced because they have taught me invaluable lessons about myself and made me a stronger person. I am grateful to have been given the opportunity to heal others, and in doing so, have healed myself in many different ways. I hope people will understand the meaning of Christmas and open their hearts and minds to practise more integrity, kindness, and compassion towards all living beings, not just for the season.”