ACCRA, Ghana — Christians and Ghanaians are called to be apostles of the poor and abandoned by caring for those most in need, especially during the Christmas season, said Archbishop John Bonaventure Kwofie of Accra.

“Let’s celebrate by thinking of what can be done to ease the situation of the abandoned, the marginalized, the forgotten, the sick, the aged, the needy,” he said Dec. 11 at an event with diplomats, clergy and lay faithful. “Let us celebrate Christmas taking a positive stand in support of the human person, in order to bring to an end whatever diminishes the dignity of the human person.”

The ecumenical event, titled “Conversations in the Cathedral,” was held at Holy Spirit Cathedral with the theme, “Being a Christian in Ghana Today: In preparation for Christmas 2019.” Among those present were Ghanaian President John Mahama and Father John Tindana, director of the missions office of the Archdiocese of Accra.

The “Conversations in the Cathedral” is aimed at bringing people of diverse backgrounds, expertise and beliefs together to dialogue as people who have the interest of the common good at stake. Organizers hope this, in turn, will create a bridge of trust among all participants and their various followers.

In his address, Kwofie said one way Christians can celebrate Christ’s birth is by making a sincere commitment of sharing with the hungry, the thirsty, the naked and the poor.

“Let us celebrate Christmas by doing everything that will allow us to live life to the full,” he said.

The Ghananian archbishop, however, expressed concern about how the rich amass wealth at the expense of the poor. Describing it as an injustice, Kwofie discouraged Christians from chasing after personal wealth and instead use it to “be a blessing to the poor; don’t accumulate wealth to make others poor.”

People of goodwill who are endowed with the goods of the earth, he added, must open their hearts to meet the poor and help restore their lives with goodness and harmony. And creatures of God, men and women cannot sincerely celebrate Christians if their fellow human beings are disregarded, Kwofie said.

“As we look forward to Christmas, I encourage all to celebrate in moderation. Let us remember to share our joy with the poor and less privileged,” he said. “God gave Jesus to us as a gift, and we must also offer ourselves as gifts to others, in terms of doing whatever we can to bring peace, comfort and solace to others.”

He also reminded people to keep Christ in Christmas.

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