Following the teachings of Jesus Christ in "letter and spirit" can eliminate conflict and establish "durable peace which is so essential for progress and prosperity of mankind," Vice President of India, M Hamid Ansari said while speaking at the annual Christmas celebration organised by the Catholic Church.
"Christmas is a festival of peace, harmony and goodwill celebrated around the world by persons of all faiths and beliefs. It constantly reminds us of the fundamental unity of mankind and commemorates the cherished human values of love, compassion, forgiveness and charity," said Ansari.
"Jesus' life is a message of selfless service and sacrifice in the cause of fellow beings. His mission was to free humanity from the basic bondage of sin," he added.
Noting how human folly continued to propel people towards hate and conflict in many parts of the world, Ansari confessed Jesus' eternal message of love and forgiveness showed the path to redemption.
"Jesus focused not just on love for friends and family, but something much more challenging: 'Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you'," he said, quoting Mathew 5:44.
"Let us celebrate this joyous occasion by dedicating ourselves to leading our lives on the basis of the teachings and message of Jesus Christ, which are universally relevant," he said. "It would make the world a better place for us to live in."
The Christmas celebration was organised by the Catholic Bishops' Conference of India (CBCI) at its headquarters in New Delhi on December 18.
The event also saw the felicitation of Mar Baselios Cleemis Catholicos, head of the Syro Malankara Catholic Church, who was recently elevated as cardinal.
CBCI President Cardinal Oswald Gracias and Archbishop Salvatore Pennachio, Apostolic Nunico to India, also spoke on the occasion.
Jesus' teachings offer 'durable' peace: Vice President
Published 21 December 2012 | John Malhotra