Christmas in the Philippines

[REFLECTIONS] A light has shone

Word and Life Publications

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[REFLECTIONS] A light has shone

FILE PHOTO: Nativity Scene in Church of the Annunciation in Skępe.

Mariochom/wikimedia.commons

Christmas Eve, midnight Mass: We are here not just to keep a religious and cultural tradition, but to commemorate the human birth of God’s Only Begotten Son

Isaiah 9:1-6; Titus 2:11-14; Luke 2:1-14

Hearts are aglow at this time of year. On Christmas Eve, everyone, believer or non-believer, cannot but feel the warmth of the celebrations that are uniquely, and essentially religious and Christian. That fact is never diminished whether or not those who celebrate it with a plethora of lights and glimmering trees, replete with foil and tinsel, gifts galore, and food overflowing, do so with the reason for the season in mind – and at heart.

But you who read this and join the family of God and the community of believers in worship know better than to reduce Christmas to the glamor and glitter of lights and decors.

You see more, not less. And what you see from the eyes of your faith, no matter how simple, is attuned to that unique and essential Christian element that is at the core of your unalloyed joy and irrepressible hope based on the conviction that the God we profess to believe in, forever lives in our midst.

We all were once a people who walked in darkness. I was. Not once, but often . . . everytime I sin, and all the times I allowed my faith to be overshadowed by the darkness of doubt and unbelief. Forces of darkness are hard at work in our times: false narratives, fake news, cancel culture, woke-ism and other deleterious ideologies that stand behind all manner of strife, divisiveness, and internecine warfare.

Today, in the warm glow of our quiet celebrations, whether or not our tables are heaving with goodies that are a delight more to the eyes, let us focus on the essential truth: “For a child is born to us, a Son is given us; upon his shoulder dominion rests.” – Word and Life Publications/Rappler.com

This reflection is part of the Patnubay ng Misa, which can be downloaded at the Word and Life Publications site.

Here are more reflections and stories about Christmas in the Philippines

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