• My dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

Every year we celebrate Christmas to commemorate the arrival of our saviour Jesus Christ into the world to redeem our sins.  His birth marked the start of a very important mission, a mission handed down by God the Father himself. Yet, rather than having a majestic start, Jesus was born in a manger, among the cattle and other animals. His first visitors were the lowly shepherds.  His humility is outstanding and exemplary. As Catholic doctors, we too have to practice humility. The talents we have are all gifts from God. It is only by God’s grace that we are given knowledge and ability to save people’s lives. As children of God we must be humble and thankful for all God’s gifts to us, and put our talents into good use, to help, and most importantly, serve others, just as Jesus taught us to serve one another (John 13:1- 16).

On the other hand, some people in Jesus’ time realised the importance of his birth. The three Magi travelled all the way from the East to visit baby Jesus and presented him with the gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh (Matthew 2:1-12). As followers of Christ, we also fully understand the meaning of Jesus’ birth. So what gift can we present to Jesus to give thanks for his coming to the world? In my opinion, the best gift is to provide our best service to those who need our help, to our patients who are suffering from their illnesses. I encourage you all to serve our patients with integrity and sincerity, particularly to those who are less fortunate.  I ask you kindly to help these poor people by providing medical care as well as imparting your knowledge to them on how they should take care of their health. Let us remember what Jesus said that all that we do to the least of us, we do it for God (Matthew 25:40). Helping the poor and the lowly is our contribution to a better world where adequate healthcare is accessible to everyone regardless of their socio-economic status. This is how we as Catholic doctors proclaim the Gospel to the wider world.

I would like to end my message by wishing you all a joyful, peaceful, and graceful Christmas. May God bless you and your loved ones abundantly with love, may He strengthen you in your service to Him and to the world.

My dear brothers and sisters, in this beautiful occasion I would like to say Merry

Christmas and Happy New Year. May God bless us all.

December, 24, 2015

Ignatius Harjadi Widjaja MD

President of Asian Federation of Catholic Medical Associations