Seven-pointed Jordanian Christmas star

Seven-pointed Jordanian Christmas star

By Fr. Rifat Bader

1. The sorrow, sadness as well as pride concomitant with Christmas this year is immense. Yet, calling off celebrations does not imply at all the cancellation of Christmas prayers, which serve as an optimum opportunity to discuss the gist of the feast. Furthermore, prayers serve peace and tranquility in our beloved country and in the hearts of children and families who ask: What to do? We say to them repeatedly: We have to take care of ourselves and our homeland, but we must not be afraid. We all know that terrorism has no religion. It is rather heartless and inhuman. What has taken place was expected; where it is rather an appropriate time, not to initiate national unity, but to enhance it by watering it daily with allegiance and loyalty.

2. It has been a great pride to have the six-year-old "Tree of National Unity" lit by different people. The tree is lit every year by the Khalil Salem Charity Society, in cooperation with the Catholic Center for Studies and Media and the Association of Naour Nashama, as a sign of humanitarian, social and national solidarity. Photos reflecting Jordanian distinction and success in the sports, educational and technical fields were posted on the green leaves of the tree located in the courtyard of the Latin Church in Naour. Today, we replaced these photos with photos of the "martyrs of Karak Castle" who decorated the homeland with medals of martyrdom, thus they became the most beautiful Christmas decoration for this year.

3. The Restaurant of Mercy marks its first anniversary as it has been functioning non-stop throughout the year by serving free hot meals to whoever knocks on its door whether they are Jordanians or from neighboring countries who could not find a warmer haven than that of Jordan. In Ramadan, the meals were served during iftar time which provides further pride in the homeland.

4. The regulations to call off Christmas celebration were broken at the Our Lady of Peace Center which provides free health and educational services to children with disabilities. In the feast, love breaks all the borders of sorrow to provide a smile to the children who came with their relatives unaware of the meaning of the word "differences" since suffering unites them.

5. A well-wishes message is received every year from Secretary General of the National Committee for Christian-Muslim Dialogue Dr. Mohammad Sammak. Following are excerpts of the message received this year: "In Christmas time, marking the birth of Lord Jesus, we always remember that goodness does not stop… that love is higher than all the walls of secular separation and barbed wires… that despite the darkness, the chaos, the injustice of terrorism and killing, the light of justice will shine again to dispel the clouds of doubt and despair, and to remind us always that we can "make the love great again!" Merry Christmas and happy new year.

6. In Berlin, the Christmas market which was stormed by a truck driven by a reckless terrorist, has been reopened with people going to shop with the absence of Christmas manifestations and decorations. The place was decorated with the photos of "the martyrs Berlin Christmas market" amid roses, candles and prayers and tears, as if this place says in harmony with the renovations of St. Mark's Coptic Orthodox Cathedral in Cairo,: Won't the bleak night of terrorism come to an end?!

7. Fr. Ibrahim Batarseh, the parish priest of Salt, has passed away. He is well-known for his knowledge in history and Arabic philology. He has writings about the "magi" who came to the cave of Bethlehem where Lord Jesus Christ was born. They said that they had come from Petra and not from elsewhere where this is corroborated by evidence. He had greatly supported the dissemination of information about Jordan as a holy land. On Christmas day, he was born in heaven.

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