In all the toing and froing accompanying Christmas and the New Year, let us give a thought that,
1) The Lord’s Prayer (Our Father) is actually an Advent prayer. “….Thy kingdom come….Adveniat renum tuum (May your kingdom come….)
2) We focus on Year B – The Gospel of Mark.
3) We have 9 years to prepare for 2021 which will mark the 500 years of Christianity in the Philippines.
4) Year 2015 is called the Year of the Poor. Let us focus on how each one of us can empower the poor to be an agent (not only a recipient) of transformation of the Church. Jesus gave the poor a sense of mission and meaning. We need to carry this on.
5) Year 2015 celebrates St. Teresa of Avila, mystic, woman genius of the Church. She wrote several books on her experience of prayer and the spirituality of prayer.
6) Year 2015 is also the Year of the Religious (the consecrated lives).
7) Lastly, Year 2015 will mark the continuation of the Synod of the Family to be held in Rome; Synod members are tasked to come up with resolutions on the crucial issues raised and discussed at length in 2014.
For Father Dennis Paez, he urged everyone to bring back Christ in Christmas and to renew our devotion to the sweet Madonna and Child. Why not give images of Mama Mary and the Baby Jesus and bring back the tradition of highlighting the Nativity, the Belen or the Creche in each Christian home?
In the midst of the merry making, the feasting and renewing ties with family and friends, remember that Christ is the reason why we celebrate Christmas. Let your eyes of faith twinkle and nourish a loving heart.
When you see the table groaning from the weight of abundant food during the Christmas festivities, think of the others who hardly have anything to eat. When you attend functions therefore, break that habit of stuffing your plate. Stop the ‘takaw-mata’ mentality or the urge to get more than you can eat, the “baka maubusan” attitude always leads to wastage of good food that could have benefited the hungry and the needy.
Check your storeroom, your pantry, and share your surplus. You’re not giving a good model for the young to imitate. When they see the lure of material abundance, they tend to forget that they need God in their lives.
Remember that we are all on a journey to heaven. We travel light. There’s nothing else we can bring.
May the peace of God reign in our homes and the star of Bethlehem fill every heart with comfort, hope, and joy.
Merry Christmas and a blessed, healthy and prosperous 2015.