Bishop of the Algarve, D. Manuel Neto Quintas, leaves a video message to all Catholic Catholics in the Algarve, stressing that, even in this time of pandemic, "God is light", a "light" that "undoes pandemic shadows".
The Algarve prelate recalls that "in this troubled and gloomy time of a pandemic" it is "frequent" to hear or say that this year everyone feels "responsibly obliged" to "celebrate a different Christmas" and that this term takes on "a broad scope" very diverse "due to the" absent, formerly usual at the Christmas table ", the" family members who are direct or indirect victims of the pandemic (deceased, hospitalized, infected, temporarily or permanently unemployed) "," frugality, in these circumstances, from the Christmas meal " , the "impossibility of expressing the usual gestures of affection, even among the extended family", the "limitation of visits or usual outings on this court, namely to hospitals, prisons and nursing homes", to the "confinement that, understandably, is imposed, by the need for mutual protection. "
And despite these differences, he stresses that this season "will bring us, once again, the certainty that God, because he loves us all as children, does not give up on us, as he never gave up, even in the darkest hours, of the people of Israel. It manifests itself as Light that illuminates and undoes the pandemic shadows that surround us, reveal our fragility and vulnerability and are the cause of fear and hopelessness ", stressing that this light is the" that flows from the Child-God born in Bethlehem ". This light, says D. Manuel Neto Quintas, "continues today, as it did two thousand years ago, to show everyone the path to the meaning of life and the construction of a truly human world. Light that undoes the shadows of a confined world and opens our hearts to others, particularly to the most disadvantaged ", he says. And he stresses that this is the Christian's mission, as Pope Francis recently said: "This is our service to the world: to illuminate all human realities, particularly situations where darkness is more dense like the one we are going through". And he adds, asking: "let us become messengers of this Light that, since Belém, continues to shine for us and for all".