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BISHOP Julius Gitom of the Diocese of Sandakan, in his Christmas message, calls on all God’s people to allow their hearts to be warmed by God’s tenderness.
In his message released in early December, the prelate urged the faithful to “allow our hearts to be touched, to be warmed by the tenderness of God, for we need His caress,” in spite of living in a “world filled with global problems and issues, with too much cruelty, violence, hatred, hurts, killings, injustice, and children, women and men becoming objects of trade and trafficking.”
He continued, “Let us ask Him to help us to be peacemakers each day, in our life, in our families, in our cities and nations, in the whole world. Let us allow ourselves to be moved by His goodness, for God is peace!”
Referring to the just concluded Extraordinary Year of Mercy when all had the opportunity to deepen their faith, to experience God’s merciful and endless forgiveness, to know Him as the Father who never gives up on them nor fails to wait for them to come “home” and to start over again, the prelate reiterated that the experiences and activities were not an end to themselves, but that the faithful are to continue to be “merciful like the Father.”
“Do not be afraid to ‘dirty’ ourselves to reach out to the wounded, the sick, the oppressed, the alienated, and be the face of Jesus to those who thirst of His love!” the bishop said.
He concluded his message with a wish that Christmas would be for everyone “a celebration of life-giving to each other, and to let Jesus be the reason for the season!”