God, AIDS, Africa & HOPE

Reflections / Gedanken

21.12.2009 Preparation time…

Time to prepare for the Christmas day service today – it is always not easy to reflect on what Christmas may mean to the people attending the service on Christmas Day.  Every year is different – how it felt and how consequently Christmas is experienced. Like every year for the last 23 years I try to find a tone, that will bring the message of Christmas closer to the attending people. I hope that they are encouraged to let the love and the peace and the intimacy of this special birthday be part of their life; not only on the Christmas Day itself, but being carried over to the next days and month to come.
Then this is indeed the message of Christmas: that we are called to be in the likeness of God – everybody a little Jesus, when born – with all the possibilities and the vocation, to tell the story of God’s unconditional love within the respective life. As God has shared life with us, so we are called to share our life with him/her. That is obviously not that easy – daily life tells us most times another story – where love, sharing, peace, tolerance seems not to be a top priority because abused so many times.
And interesting enough is Christmas in many families also the time for bitter fights at the end of the day – because the pressure, to suddenly turn around the normal way of dealing with each other, is getting to big.  Christmas is for us Christian the culmination of our yearning for harmony in life – and we should train it during the year that it works also on those days.. :-).

Being the likeness of God – that is also a headline when it comes to dealing with our brothers and sisters who are carrying the HI virus with them.  They remain this picture of God – nothing is taken away from them through this virus. Therefore there should be no stigmatization or criminalization or discrimination within any Christian community. I guess, there is still much to do…  In this matter, Christmas acts as a reminder how much is still to do to free our society from the devil of stigmatization and all what comes with it.

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HIV, Development and HOPE – thoughts of a Catholic priest

Being a Roman - Catholic priest and working in the fields of HIV and social development in Africa has its challenges. You will find stories and reflections about my work, about the church, South Africa and Africa, about politics and whatever triggers my interest. You are most welcome to leave a comment or to get in touch with me. Blogging means to initiate thoughts and discussions and for the writer to formulate what is loosely running around in the heart and mind in need of being sorted and spoken out.

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