H.L. Bishop Camillo Ballin's Message for 2013

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Come, Lord Jesus, and Transform our World by Your Spirit!



Dear Brothers and Sisters,

I would like to meditate with you, for a short while, on the mystery of Christmas. In this solemnity, we celebrate the coming of Jesus Christ, his birth into the world. The Son of God became man. But, what is the meaning of our celebrations, now, since Jesus has already come, he is already here. We meet him in the Sacraments and especially in the Eucharist. When we receive Holy Communion, Jesus is with us. So, why should we pray: "Come Lord Jesus!", since he is already here?

Yes, it is true. Jesus is already here and in the Eucharist he is present with all his humanity and divinity. But, if we look into our personal life, into our heart, we find that many times we are full of "Immorality, impurity, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, hatreds, rivalry, jealousy, acts of selfishness, dissensions, factions, occasions of envy" (Gal 5:19-21). We need to be liberated from all these sins and to put on instead the fruit of the Spirit: "love, joy peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self control" (Gal 5:22). We cannot realize this big change in our heart except if Jesus comes to us, to help us, to convince us of our sins, to show us our weakness, our limitations. When he shows us this negative part of our life, he doesnít do it in order to discourage us, but in order to encourage us to become more free and to follow him towards God. Only Jesus can liberate us from our bad habits and give us the fruit of the Spirit. Thatís why we pray: "Lord Jesus, come! Come to rescue me, to free me from Satan!" Jesus is there but we need his continuous coming if we want to change our life from a life according to the flesh into a life according to the Spirit.

Not only we, but the world also is in need of the coming of Jesus. How many wars are waged in the world! Let us think of South Sudan, Central Africa, Syria, Iraq, and many other countries. The politicians have an important role in order to establish peace, but no peace will reign if there is no change of heart of the people. An oppressor can be thrown down by a revolution, but he will be succeeded by another oppressor. The biggest revolution, the most effective way to establish justice and peace is to imitate the mission of John the Baptist: "to turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God" (Lk 1:16). Only Jesus can change our world. Thatís why we pray: "Come Lord Jesus! Come to our world and make it the kingdom of your Spirit!"

The mission of the Virgin Mary is to bring Jesus to us and to the world. Let us ask her intercession so that we may receive Jesus at Christmas and obey him as she obeyed when she said: "May it be done to me according to your word" (Lk 1:38).

God give you all a Holy Christmas and a Blessed New Year.

Your Bishop,

+ Camillo Ballin, mccj
Apostolic Vicar of Northern Arabia




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