As 2019 draws to a close, we are filled with joy and gratitude for the global community that has embraced the Sport at the Service of Humanity principles and is helping to grow the SSH Movement.
In a world increasingly divided, it is more important than ever that we “Live Like We Play” – live lives guided by the six Principles – Love, Compassion, Respect, Enlightenment, Balance, Joy.
It is by fostering Inclusion and Unity no matter what people’s differences may be and letting Humility and Empathy towards others guide our hearts and minds, that we will build caring, peaceful communities.
This holiday season, we celebrate and give thanks for faith leaders who have come
together from around the globe in support of Sport at the Service of Humanity. It is with full hearts that we share with you their holiday blessings and messages.
His Eminence CARDINAL GIANFRANCO RAVASI –
President, Pontifical Council for Culture, The Holy See
Today’s Christmas makes me think of those Roman amphorae that fishermen occasionally pull out of the sea with their nets. These ancient containers are covered with shells and marine deposits, which make them unrecognizable. To rediscover their shape, all the incrustations must be removed. The same can be said of Christmas: to rediscover its authentic meaning, Christmas needs to be freed from
consumerism and the festive, routine and ceremonial incrustations.
We can rediscover the genuine sense of the Christmas gift by reflecting on its true celebrant, Jesus Christ. His birth was marked by poverty, and was accompanied by the nightmare of a massacre of children. It was a time of a refugee migration, as is repeated in our days in the journeys of the desperate along the Mediterranean routes.
This is an invitation to strip Christmas of the luxurious waste of gift packages and return our expectant eyes to the vulnerable Gift who chose to be accessible to all.
DR. HARUHISA HANDA –
Founder & Chairman, ISPS (International Sport Promotion Society) / Sport for Humanity First Global Patron
According to the tradition of Shinto, Japan’s indigenous religion, a kami (god) enters the house at New Year’s.
The close of the year is therefore an important period of reflection and cleansing, which prepares us for a new year of happiness and prosperity.
As we usher in the new year, let us strengthen our faith in the essence of our values and spirituality and reinforce our confidence in our common humanity’s potential for good.
Those of us who are involved in sport realize its unique ability to promote positive values serving as Inspiration to others; to make a strong stand for Inclusion and Unity; and to use the Power of Sport for good through involvement in our communities.
On behalf of ISPS, the International Sports Promotion Society, I pray for enlightenment as we reflect on this past year and look forward to welcoming the new year with renewed hope for a kinder, better world through the “Power of Sport”.
NJERI RIONGE –
Prophet, Teacher, Healer
During this festival season let us all be glad for the freedom the birth of Christ Jesus brings for all mankind. It is with great humility that I surrender myself to everything that he died for and continued to bless us with. I encourage you to do the same. He told us my people will die for lack of knowledge! The truth shall set us free, and it’s true how this scripture speaks to the fundamental human nature every time we encounter truth. Fortunately, truth has a way to heal and to restore. I pray in 2020 that our souls will align with Jesus’s mercy and grace for a perfect righteous living, Amen.
IMAM DR. NADER AKKAD, PhD
Università islamica di al-Azhar, co-fondatore CMMC-Commissione Mariana Musulmano Cristiana della Accademia Pontificia Mariana, Città del Vaticano
Faith leads the believer to see in the other a brother to be supported and loved, as the Abu Dhabi Declaration on the Human Brotherhood says. Christmas is for Muslims an act of brotherhood and sharing of the spirit of benevolence and respect for their Christian brothers.
The birth of the child Jesus by the Virgin Mary is narrated in the sacred Koran in several chapters and is taught by Muslim teachers as a sign and a divine mercy. From the symbolic teaching on the sacredness of silence practiced by the Virgin Mary, Muslims recognize the importance of fasting as a pillar of faith and as a practice of self-control and constitutes an exercise in physical and spiritual education to endure the difficulties encountered in daily life. In addition to fasting as a fundamental pillar, Islam indicates another central pillar that is “salat” which defines a true physical education and constitutes the first approach to physical-spiritual sport in the Islamic religion. Besides fasting and prayer the Prophet Muhammad, peace and mercy on him, recommended fast walking, running and some particular sports to be practiced such as swimming, shooting and horseback riding.
The teaching of Christmas in the sacred Koran represents for Muslims an important moment to remember the Virgin Mary and the miraculous birth of Jesus, peace and mercy on him, who express themselves with a fraternal wish and a shared participation in the blessings of grace that opens hearts, inspires minds and guides actions for a fraternal experience in the common house.
RABBI CARLOS TAPIERO –
הרב קרלוס טפיירו
Deputy Director-General – ל”סמנכ
מכבי תנועה עולמית – Union World Maccab
This is a splendid time of Light, Joy, Redemption and Freedom. A time when we converge into celebration of ultimate Love and Compassion; transcendent Hope and human positive significant deed.
In these days, around the Chanukah lights, the Jewish People celebrates their National redemption: freedom from oppression – the right of a radical belief in God as the Supreme Force of all Values. The future of the whole world depends on the promotion of values – and we, at Sport at the Service of Humanity, concur that the intrisical values of sport can promote a better life for all Humankind. Love, Compassion, Respect, Enlightenment, Balance and Joy are demanded in a world threated by hatred, indifference, violence, darkness, extremism and grief. Our
common message is strong and clear: together, we can build a present of communication, understanding, mutual caring. May the Lights of Chanukah – the Lights of these Days of Light for Humankind illuminate our lives to commit ourselves to the kind of Pact of Love God Himself expects from us.
Let us bring light to the world!
Happy Chanukah and Merry Christmas!
Blessings for the New Year
It is our hope that these wishes and blessings will fill your heart and carry you into the New Year with light and love.
Thank you to each and every one of you for your continued support of Sport at the Service of Humanity and for your ongoing commitment to our Movement.
From all of us at Sport at the Service of Humanity, we wish you a joyful holiday and the very best for the coming year.