CHRISTMAS AND NEW YEAR MESSAGE BY THE SUPREME KNIGHT, SIR KT BRO. ERNEST AMOAKO-ARHEN
‘GLORY TO GOD IN THE HIGHEST AND ON EARTH PEACE TO MEN OF GOODWILL’ – LUKE 2:14
The above is a song of praise by the Angels when they announced the birth of the Messiah to the shepherds who were keeping watch over their flock. As we celebrate Christmas, these words will be heard in different carols and on different radio stations signifying the arrival of baby Jesus that brings a great and exciting hapiness into the world. It is an inexpressible glory
Yes, during Christmas we marvel and do give glory to God for His gift of a Messiah to mankind to deliver us from sin, to save us from condemnation and to bring us salvation.
Christmas may mean different things to different people but to us as Christians and as Catholics, it should be for us a period of reflection on God’s saving act which is the overflow of grace and mercy manifested through the birth of Jesus Christ.
We have just begun the Holy Year of Mercy as declared by the Holy Father Pope Francis. In launching the YEAR, Pope Francis reminded the whole Church to “be able to find the joy of rediscovering and rendering fruitful God’s mercy, with which we are all called to give comfort, hope and love to every man and every woman of our time”.
The Holy Year of Mercy which ends on November 20, 2016, incidentally coincides with the 90th Anniversary of the Noble Order of Knights of Marshall and should therefore afford us the opportunity to demonstrate in practical terms what is entailed in our motto of Unity, Charity, Fraternity and Service which in itself is a practical expression of mercy. We are enjoined to “Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful’ (Luke 6: 36)
This year’s Christmas should be for us, Catholics and Marshallans, a period of lavish expression of mercy towards ourselves and to others. We have to acknowledge our shortcomings and the fact that we have not ‘dwelled in the house of the Lord’ in the greater part of the year and ask for mercy while extending same to the very many people who might have wronged us during the year or have not lived to our expectation. As Marshallans, showing mercy as required of us includes stepping up our acts of charity; and there is no better time to do this than in the period of Christmas! Charity towards others, no doubt, opens the floodgates of the Mercy of God towards us.
Through God’s unparalleled acts of mercy we have received the gift of the Messiah – a joy to the world! Let us, as fortunate recipients of God’s gift of abundant grace of life and good health, exhibit to the less fortunate and the vulnerable in our society, a replica of this “joy”. Let us extend, without any reservation or any conditionalities, the love and peace of Christmas to the sick, to the distressed, to the needy and to the disappointed while giving them the hope and faith in the Lord, in whom we all “live, move and have our being”. May the strict observance and full participation in the Holy Year of Mercy bring on earth “Peace to men of goodwill”.
May your Christmas be merry and may you all enter the New Year with the assurance of good health and prosperity.