Christmas in the Philippines

[REFLECTIONS] Neighbors: Nosey or nice?

Word and Life Publications

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[REFLECTIONS] Neighbors: Nosey or nice?

Arendain’s neighbors, Inday and Pacita, wait for the errand boy to arrive.

Geela Garcia

Eighth day, Simbang Gabi: God never lets anybody down. The whole history of salvation is a glorious record of the fulfillment of His promises.

Malachi 3:1-4.23-24; Luke 1:57-66

The neighborhood must have been very excited. The relatives of Elizabeth and Zechariah must also have been avidly waiting. Luke has this interesting detail: when they “heard that the Lord had shown his great mercy toward her, [. . .] they rejoiced with her.”

We are back to the whole discussion about KA in Tagalog. Karamay ni Elizabet ang mga kapitbahay at kamag-anak. No doubt about it. They empathized and identified with Elizabeth and Zechariah and actively shared in and partook of their joy.

Nice neighbors they definitely were. We could do less with nosey neighbors who are out to discover the latest about us. Recent Pinoy pop culture refers to such as collectively called “Marites” – neighbors who appear interested and focused on your life-affairs for the wrong reason and motivation.

We need to talk “neighbor” today. The whole Catholic Social Tradition places “family” and “love” as foundational values on which the Church bases its social teaching. And “family” goes beyond the nuclear family. It also refers to community, to society at large, to the Church universal as called to belong to a civilization of love.

When we value family, when we love our neighborhood, and when everyone in the neighborhood understands how important nice neighbors and caring relatives are, then we can move on and talk about solidarity. That was what the whole clan and neighborhood of Zechariah and Elizabeth did. Are we nosey or nice? – Word and Life Publications/

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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