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Reunion: Msgr. Gilbert Aubry "religious festival was deconsecrated sacred of the short-lived"

For this Christmas Eve mgr Gilbert Aubry, Bishop of Reunion island, sends his greetings in a statement and invite all believers not to set aside the authentic message of Christmas religious festival sacred by excellence, while rejecting commercial "idolatry".

Reunion: Msgr. Gilbert Aubry "religious festival was deconsecrated sacred of the short-lived"
The streets are illuminated. Showcases are full of light. We're going to celebrate Christmas. Firecrackers will be at the rendezvous. Merry Christmas with family, this is what we will wish to each other. Good, but beware the trap of words! It is significant that in many public places, illuminated signs replaced "Merry Christmas" with "Happy holidays"!

The shift has occurred from the religious to the commercial. The religious festival was desecrated sacred of the ephemeral and the deployment of a desire of happiness by the transmission of gifts. But at what cost? And at what cost to humans if humans disappeared under the idolatry of feverish agitation with the fascination of consumption still not satisfied and threatened?
Do not forget the source white water if we want to have a water of quality. Christmas would not exist without Jesus. And Jesus is not a mythical character. It is part of the historic landscape of humanity. No one can "avoid it». Luke, the Evangelist, takes the time to write: "in those days appeared an edict of Cesar Augustus ordered to identify the whole world - this first census took place while Quirinius was Governor of Syria." Joseph also left the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to the city of David called Bethlehem, because he was of the House and the offspring of David. He had to be near Mary, his wife, who was pregnant." She put the world his son Jesus in a feeder in Bethlehem. That’s what Christmas for Christians!

What a contrast between the Emperor Augustus and the small child of the feeder! On one side the Roman Senate had granted the title of Augustus that is "the lovely" (in Greek sebastos) sent to future generations as Saviour (cf. Priene epigraph). Of the other God that flows in human weakness, in the birth and growth of a child on the straw, without money. These are the shepherds, the outcasts of society who will recognize "the sign": "a newborn child wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a feeder". The sign is never obvious. It confirms an appeal already heard. The Angel had spoken to them. They had listened to: "Today you are born a Savior". They searched for him. They met him and a celestial troupe praised God saying "Glory to God in the highest heaven and peace on Earth to men that he loved".

The values are reversed. God is not found in the power or fear. His omnipotence is put within our reach by inviting us to look for through thousand received signs. Within ourselves and in our relationships with others, in nature. The sign of all signs is this baby Jesus, this man Jesus, this adult to the end of love was, crucified, died and resurrected. He will return again in glory. And the order of things and human relationships will be restored in the order of Creation at the heart of his creator. We too will also be transformed with Jesus Christ, compass for disoriented humanity.
Christmas is the Holy Nativity of Jesus so that men and women find within themselves more than themselves to infinity of love. We ourselves are our sole treasure to God, on this Island, and all over the world.
Christmas? A story for children? Why not? Mystery for adults with their hearts of God's children. Hope and faith are inseparable from love. Wishes for a festive time. Prayer for the times to come. Merry Christmas.
Bishop Gilbert AUBRY

Fabrice François

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