Christian families should cherish and depict the values of love, respect and forgiveness, and strive to be role models to other members of their communities, a top Catholic cleric has said.
Monsignor Philippe Rukamba, the bishop of Butare Diocese, made the call during Christmas celebrations in Butare town.
While delivering his sermon at Butare Cathedral, which was filled beyond capacity, Rukamba said Christmas recalls the value and importance of the family in the life of the Church and world in general.
He said Christmas Day is a ‘family day’ and urged the flock to learn from the example of the Holy Family–Jesus, Mary and Joseph–whom he said ‘followed the path of God and left a legacy of love, humility and faith’.
The Bishop told the faithful that faith should remain at the centre of any family, because, he said “faith fosters love, respect, mutual understanding and forgiveness” within families and strengthens them.
He cautioned them against being duped by material wealth noting that it is not wealth that makes families stronger.
“The value of a family does not come from being wealthy. Rather, it is the generosity, humility, love and faith that make family stronger,” Rukamba said.
“The ability to share whatever you have in your life, help and respect each other, extend support to others and the love towards your children, among others are some of the values that make a family successful.”
“Christmas symbolises the love and good manners that parents should inculcate in their children to prepare them to be successful citizens in the future,” he added.
Rukamba called on the followers to help the most vulnerable and weakest within their communities not only on Christmas but in their daily lives.
“Let’s pray for the youth to grow up making the right decisions and following the right path and for them to know the value of love and respect,” he said.
“Let us also pray for an end to the wars and conflicts that continue to destabilise the lives of so many people around the world and work toward making the world a better place,” he added.