By Josh Low
Sharing the message of the Gospel with others by being a witness to the Catholic faith was at the heart of the Joy family’s Christmas Nativity scene at their home in Mt Nasura over the Christmas period.
Jiby Joy – along with wife Kavitha and children – has been building cribs in his home for several years.
This past Christmas, the Nativity scene was constructed in his garage at home and included several different locations related to the birth of Christ.
Mr Joy said the family initially had reservations over constructing a Nativity scene due to travel plans in the New Year, but decided to go ahead with it when someone contributed to its creation.
Armadale Parish Priest Fr Kazimierz Stuglik was present for the inauguration, and blessed the nativity scene at the family home.
“Fr Kazimierz accepting our invitation to attend and bless the nativity scene was our confirmation that the Lord wanted to use us to spread His word,” Mr Joy said.
Some 300 people attended over the course of the week leading up to Christmas, with a nativity show being held every evening by Mr Joy’s sons, Jack and Peter, who took the opportunity to talk about the Christmas story and the faith.
The family also provided finger food, sweets and drinks, as well as Bibles and spiritual books at no cost for all who attended.
“Whenever people came, we would have a nativity show that my children would conduct, using it as an opportunity for evangelisation and to explain the real story of the nativity, the reason behind Christmas and the news of the Gospel,” Mr Joy said.
Mr Joy explained that the inspiration behind the Christmas Nativity scenes came from the desire to answer the call of being a public witness to the love of God.
“I’ve had so many experiences of God’s presence in my life and know that there is a living Jesus whose love I’m always experiencing.
“I want to share this message of the Gospel with others and make a positive difference in our society which has forgotten about who Jesus really is,” he said.
“Nowadays Christmas is often being celebrated totally out of its real spirit and has become a commercial celebration with many spiritual aspects left out.
“I believe we must not be silent about the truth or move away from practising our visible symbols of faith,” Mr Joy said.
Mr Joy added that the hope behind it all was that at the very least, people would come to know of the person that is Jesus Christ.
“I always ask myself what I can do for Our Lord to promote the faith in the world we live in. All I want to show to others through constructing the nativity scene is that Our Lord is a living God – not a story, not a myth; He is real and seeking to have a relationship with us,” he said.
The family also received approximately $600 of monetary donations which was given to the St Vincent de Paul Society to others in the Armadale area in need of support, as well as towards children of parents infected with HIV in India, where Mr Joy is originally from.