The Slovenia Times

Hope stressed in Christmas Eve Mass


Archbishop of Ljubljana Stanislav Zore told worshippers at St Nicholas's Cathedral in Ljubljana that God did not create man for darkness and fear.

"He created him out of love, placing him in Eden, so that he could enjoy the gifts of God, and rejoice at his Creator and his closest of kin."

According to Zore, God is love and has not turned away from man, although man doubts his love. This is what holidays remind us of and what makes them so beautiful.

He said that while holidays do not ignore the darkness or man's ability to decide for evil, they remain full of hope and deep faith that God, faithful to itself, will deliver on his promise.

Meanwhile, Bishop of the Evangelical-Lutheran Church Geza Filo, saying Mass already on Sunday afternoon in Ljubljana, said Jesus Christ is not the power of this world which is based on power and wealth, he is the power of love "which in this world creates the kingdom of justice and peace".

Jesus Christ gives everyone hope, and "by advocating solidarity and peace, we, blessed with his mercy, give this hope a voice and a body", said Filo.

Today, Christmas Day Mass is being celebrated across the country, with Bishop of Murska Sobota Peter Štumpf criticising consumerism and regretting the true message of Christmas has almost entirely been lost.

"The fictitious Santa is dominating ads, shopping and even film and music. It is pushing us further into fundamentalist consumerism, which says 'I buy and spend, therefore I am.'"

"The duty of shopping has been forced upon us: The more I buy and the more gifts I give, the more important I am. Children are especially at risk, as many would not be able to appreciate any gift any more," the bishop told worshippers in Morska Sobota today.

This is a reason for Slovenian bishops to encourage people to "let God get into our hearts".

Štumpf also said the Slovenians used excel in honesty, whereas today being unethical has become business as usual. He believes celebrating Christmas in a Christian manner means doing away with being unethical.

Archbishop Zore will say his Christmas Day Mass at St Nicholas's Cathedral at 4 PM.

Many Slovenians, both believers and non-believers, celebrate Christmas with festivities starting on Christmas Eve. Many stay at home with their families for Christmas Eve dinner, decorating Christmas trees, setting up nativity scenes and exchanging gifts.


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