Pon, 27. Prosinac 2021. 12:44
In the Sarajevo Cathedral of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, on Christmas Eve, December 24th, a vigil Holy Mass was solemnly celebrated, led by the Archbishop of Vrhbosna, cardinal Vinko Puljić.
Concelebrating with him were Archbishop Coadjutor of Vrhbosna Msgr. Tomo Vukšić, who delivered the sermon, Chargé d'Affaires of the Apostolic Nunciature in Sarajevo, Msgr. Amaury Medina Blanco, and about 10 other priests, including the Vicar General Msgr. Slađan Ćosić and canon and rector of the cathedral Msgr. Ante Meštrović.
Archbishop Puljić first greeted the priests, nuns, theologians and believers and then presented and conveyed numerous congratulations from various people who sent them through him. “I take this opportunity to invite you to bring all those who need our prayers, to pray for them tonight so that the new-born King may give them inner comfort, strength and true hope of life”, the cardinal said.
After the biblical readings and the proclaimed Gospel, at the beginning of the sermon, Msgr. Vukšić reminded that the Angel of the Lord, according to the report of Luke’s Gospel, brought the shepherds the good news that the Saviour was born - Christ and the Lord and indicated that they would find him as a new-born laying in a crib. “Following the example of the angels and participating in their joy, from its beginnings through all 20 centuries, the community of believers consistently repeats the same words every time it gathers for the solemn Eucharistic prayer. Joining this great tradition of the Church and the present brothers and sisters around the world, we did the same a few moments ago. Once again we expressed our joy by repeating the words of the angels: ‘Glory to God in heavens! And peace on earth to people of good will.’ We repeated these words primarily to pay homage to our Creator and Saviour with gratitude, but also to repeat once again, together with all the heavenly powers, the prayer: May the glorious God grant peace among people”, said Msgr. Tomo, emphasizing: “Because, a child was born to us, we had a son; on his shoulders is power. His name is: Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, and Peace bringing Prince”.
Follow the Prince of Peace
He underlined that Jesus Christ is the prince of peace. “The peace proclaimed by the Christian faith and peace that all the disciples of Jesus are called to live, is not just a matter of their individual intimacy and only their personal feelings, but that peace, achieved on a personal spiritual and psychological level, becomes the basis and means to contribute to social peace and harmony (…) Means and ways to build and maintain social peace, according to biblical teaching, therefore, are: humility as a basic attitude, gentleness towards others, patience with all, concrete life and action worthy of the call to which we are called, love as a rule in relation to others, noble intentions and noble action, unity in intentions that should be shaped by the union of peace”, said the Archbishop Coadjutor, finally, wishing all Christian believers a happy and blessed feast of the birth of Jesus, called to proclaim with conviction: “The earthly peace that is born of love of neighbour is also a reflection of the effect of Christ’s peace, which comes from God the Father. The Incarnate Son himself, the prince of peace, reconciled all people with God with his cross, re-establishing the unity of all in one People and in one Body. He killed hatred in his body and by the glory of his resurrection he poured out the Spirit of love into human hearts. Therefore, all Christians are earnestly called upon to ‘by living the truth of love’ (Eph. 4:15), unite with all truly peaceable people in order to pray and build peace”(GS, 78).
The celebration of the Holy Mass in the cathedral was animated by the Cathedral Choir Josip Stadler under the direction of rev. Marko Stanušić, and the Holy Mass, which began at 9 pm, was broadcast live on BHT1.
Let us mention that last year, instead of Midnight, a vigil Holy Mass was celebrated in the Sarajevo Cathedral at 8 pm, because due to the unfavourable epidemiological situation, among other things, there was a ban on movement after 11 pm.
Christmas greetings to the Archbishops of Vrhbosna
Priests, monks and nuns working in Sarajevo and the surrounding area gathered on Christmas Eve, December 24th, in the hall of the Priests’ Home for the traditional Christmas greetings to the Archbishop of Vrhbosna cardinal Vinko Puljić and Msgr. Tomo Vukšić.
On behalf of the spiritual class, congratulations were expressed by the Provincial Head of the Franciscan School Sisters of the Bosnian-Croatian Province of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, sister Željka Dramac. She said that Christians, in anticipation of the second coming of Christ, are in fact celebrating the event of salvation, and stated that God’s gentleness was revealed in the coming of Jesus.
Cardinal Vinko in the atmosphere of the Christmas mystery, in response to the greetings, referred to the past synod procession which has marked the Archdiocese of Vrhbosna over the past nine years.
After the regular official part of the congratulations, which was moderated by the spokesman of the Vrhbosna Archdiocese, rev. Dražen Kustura, refreshments and socializing followed.