God, AIDS, Africa & HOPE

pensée of a Catholic priest

24.12.2009 Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve 2009: The noise of the construction side next to my cottage has ceased – since month the first day without noise – what a relief. The sun is shining and my cellphone is giving its characteristic “sms beep” again and again – all the good Christmas wishes are coming in – even the email box is full of well wishers. The coming services are prepared – and it feels like time and hectic is calming down for a moment.

Christmas Eve – traditionally in Germany the most important family event and as parents preparing the last necessities for their kids, I will now close down my office and enjoy a Christmas Eve with friends. I must admit that I am not a real Christmas person – too much sentiments are not my cup of tea on this day. I cherish my memories of a winterly Christmas time in Germany but I must say that I enjoy a sunny Christmas the same way if not even more. Sun, laughter, kids at the poolside, braai: doesn’t that sound like a real birthday bash? 🙂

We celebrate the coming of God into the world – and we proclaim us brothers and sisters in Christ, sons and daughters of God. But looking around, watching the news, experiencing it in my own environment: Do we have drawn any consequences out of this event? Is mankind better in dealing with each other? Do we see our sisters, our brother in the person next to us? According to statistics the most poor people in this world living in Africa have become more poor in the last two decades. All the progress, all the donations have done virtually nothing to change the world as a whole. Millions dying of hunger in the developing countries while others live and digest more than it is healthy. The funny conference in Copenhagen – has it shown that those having benefited since years from climate change, are now really looking towards the lives of their brothers and sisters when they propose targets to stop this change in nature. Or do they, like always, just offer money – the rich ones can always bail themselves out,it seems.

Christmas – we celebrating the coming of God into our world – and we proclaim us brothers and sisters in Christ, sons and daughters of God. On this day we also should look and acknowledge all those, who take these titles serious and try to act on that – sometimes against the will of a state or a church. People, who are really take it on – day by day – to fulfill the promise of Christmas. I just read about Erwin Kraeutler, bishop in the Amazons, who is not able to walk a mile without security because of death treats he received. Those are the people balancing the bitter balance of human mankind’s dealing with each other in a way, which indeed shows the likeness of God.

Merry Christmas to all of you – and may the blessings be felt by each and every one of you!

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HIV, AIDS and HOPE – thoughts of a Catholic priest

Being a Roman - Catholic priest and working in the fields of HIV and AIDS in Africa is often a challenge. Living in Africa has also its challenges. On the other hand I feel very much blessed having all the three. So you will find stories and reflections about my work, about the church, South Africa and Africa and essential information and developments in the field of HIV and AIDS. And in between personal stories and thoughts. You are most welcome to leave a comment or to get in touch with me - blogs - "thinking loud" so to speak is a ways of communication and exchange of ideas.

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© Rev Fr Stefan Hippler and HIV, AIDS and HOPE.
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