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Christmas Message - 2022

December 23, 2021       State House

My fellow Fijians at home and abroad, and all visitors to our beloved Fiji:


Miau Sa Bula Re! As Christians in Fiji and the world over reflect and remember the birth of Jesus this Christmas, I extend season's greetings and well wishes to you all on behalf of my wife Filomena and our family.


This is my first Christmas address as Head of State, and so I wish to share with you the message of Hope, Renewal, Joy and Love that is at the very heart of the Christmas season. It is a message that resonates and has had meaning for all people, whether they celebrate Christmas as a religious holiday or not. When reflecting on the events of this year, I can't help but remember the verse "A thrill of Hope, the weary world rejoices," from the famous Christmas carol 'O Holy Night'.


For two years our country and the entire world has been plagued by the global pandemic of the Coronavirus, and yet we have been resilient and we remain determined. We are at the cusp of recovery as borders slowly begin to open and countries return to some form of normalcy. We are cautiously observing the new Omicron variant and taking prudent steps to protect ourselves, but we are moving forward. I thank all citizens who have been vaccinated, because vaccinations are our surest line of defence against this virus, no matter how many variants it spawns. These past two years have indeed left us weary, devastated and uncertain, and it is when we are weary that we must remember the three Christian virtues: Faith, Hope and Love. Faith gives us the strength to fight. Hope gives us the belief that we will overcome this challenge and shed this burden. And Love impels us to embrace our fellow human beings and do what we must for the common good.


The birth of Christ signifies the birth of a promise that ended in the perfect sacrifice, when he gave himself up for our sins. This paved the way for Christianity as a sort of renewal of the relationship between the divine and the human bodies. The latter is the sort of renewal that we continue to observe every year. Therefore, in this season of Christmas let us renew our resolve to become better citizens of our current world and strive for equity.


Christmas is a time of joy, so let us celebrate this Christmas with our families. Let us cast aside animosity, bring forgiveness and understanding to strained relationships, and embrace each other to put an end to conflicts that have been allowed to fester. Let us reflect on our family values as a way to spread joy and peace to one and all. Let us continue to build better relationships, and let us rejoice in what we have and be thankful rather than regret the loss of what might have been.


My fellow Fijians, Christians and non-Christians alike, I invite you this Christmas to Love one another and to be considerate and kind to one another. Love is not a feeling; love is action. Therefore, in all your actions show love for one another just as Christ himself loved us. My fellow Fijians, when we reach out to help others, we are helping make Fiji a better place.  This is the least we can do this Christmas.


My fellow Fijians, let me conclude by reminding us all that we are “not out of the woods yet" as we battle with Covid-19 and its variants, but we can certainly celebrate responsibly. We need to embrace the joy of Christmas and celebrate. We need to continue to care for our children, the vulnerable and our loved ones.


Let us glorify Almighty God through whatever little service we can offer this Christmas. In return, we will be blessed with peace - peace that Almighty God gives to all his children.


Once again wish you all a Blessed Christmas and a Prosperous New Year.


May God bless Fiji and all Fijians.