Tista' taqra bil- Malti.
Bishop of Gozo Anton Teuma appealed to the public to make the most of the coming “Covid Christmas” to rediscover the beauty of familial relationships.
In his Christmas message, Bishop Teuma highlighted how the “invisible microbe” that caused Covid-19 had exposed everyone’s weaknesses by disrupting the systems and rhythms of our lives.
People, he observed, could no longer meet, travel and mingle as much as they would like. Everyone has to be careful around the elderly, and grandparents and their grandchildren have had to keep their distance from each other.
But the Bishop also saw a silver lining, in that the pandemic provided a greater opportunity for everyone to get closer to the immediate family they live with. This was particularly the case for many Gozitans who would commute to Malta for work or study purposes and who are now doing so remotely.
With this in mind, Bishop Teuma appealed to everyone to seize the opportunity to draw closer to their families.
He urged parents to show affection to their young children, “so that they may feel what it means to be loved by God.” Older children should similarly be given reassurance and encouragement, to help them recognise that God had faith in them.
The Bishop also appealed to people to take care of their elderly relatives: helping those who may live with them feel valued and safe, and helping those who may live in care homes through a difficult time by keeping in constant touch with them.
He urged married couples and those in a relationship to love each other, to let God show his love their significant other through their actions. But he also urged couples in difficulty to seek to put their quarrels and conflict aside, if only for the sake of their children, expressing his hope that it could mark the start of a healing process.
But Bishop Teuma also appealed to everyone to remember all those who may be suffering or who are in need, stating that they were at the centre of the Christmas mystery.
“Our Lord saw fit to come to us in the form of a person who was weak, foreign, marginalised and in need,” he said. Paraphrasing from the Gospel, he reminded that “whatever we do with our brothers and sisters in need, we are doing for him.”