Mission Society of the Philippines



MERRY CHRISTMAS! The Lord is born. In the Old Testament we hear the prophets foretelling the birth of the Messiah. The prophet Isaiah in the first reading tells about the messenger of salvation giving news of excitement. Good news is given; glorious redemption has now come through the arrival of the divine redeemer. A shout of joy is repeated as the people witness the coming of the Lord who restores Zion out of the ruins that have come upon it. Isaiah sees a chorus of thanksgiving for the Messiah has indeed come. God’s people are called to praise him for his saving deeds to Israel. All of humanity is called to join in this joyful worship. Salvation has come.

The author to the Hebrews gladly shares to us the good news that it is not just the prophets who spoke of humanity’s salvation. God this time speaks though his risen Son. God in the flesh enlightens us on his boundless love for humanity. God revealed salvation through Jesus. Our salvation comes from His redemptive sacrifice. Eternal salvation is achieved through His incarnation, death and resurrection. Everyone should sing a song of praise for God’s most beautiful gift to us, Jesus, who is His reflection and radiance of glory. God’s Majesty is shown through Him. Power is manifested so that all creation is guided and sustained. God wants order in all things, so all will be well. In his goodness he reveals himself to us as human being so his glory is seen.

This good news of power and majesty came in a very simple form. Jesus in his entire splendour was born in a manger, wrapped in swaddling clothes and adored by ordinary humans. The Light of the World in the simplest and humblest of births is manifested to all of creation to be adored and glorified. He is the lovely child, who’s in a crib with his beautiful parents and in the presence of farm animals.  There is almost nothing special in that dark night. Yet, the true God became just like us. This is Christmas! The love that is given to all, so all will have eternal happiness.

The good news of Christmas is a reminder for all of us that it is not just all shopping and gift giving. Christmas is not just a holiday for people to enjoy and celebrate. Christmas is not just an occasion to gather and have fun with friends. Christmas is not only a time to have feasts and drinks. Christmas is not just a season intended for those who have the means to have a good time. Christmas is not a season of false happiness and Joy. Christmas is not about lights, decors and music. Christmas is more than all material and commercial things that the season offers.

Christmas is a celebration for those who have been neglected by society. We remember them in our prayers and silence. Christmas is the time to give praise and thanksgiving for the new born King who silently teaches us to love. Christmas is saying to our loved ones that we truly love them. Christmas is saying I am happy that I am with you. Christmas is being thankful for all the graces received in the past year. Christmas is asking for forgiveness and reconciling with those we have done wrong. Christmas is for all the little ones and the poor in spirit, who have become our true teachers of love, care, truth and justice. It is for all who have reminded us of what a true Christmas observance is. It is showing to Jesus that we still adore and love him, by staying faithful and honest to Him.

All round the world over, many Christians are celebrating the good news of the birth of Jesus. But we should not forget our dear Christian brothers and sisters who cannot afford to celebrate for fear of persecution and threats of security.  We remember the dear soldiers in the front lines of war, the health care practitioners, on-call workers and others who have risked their lives and sacrificed their precious moments with the family so others can have peace and comforts.  May the Word, the expression of the Father, the Incarnated one that John testified grant them a reason to celebrate, may the Word who guides and illuminates humans inspire them to have courage and confidence. May the Word allow all of us to cooperate with His Divine Wisdom, so all of us can partake of his divine fullness. The beautiful child Jesus, who came in the humblest of all forms, brings us true Joy and Happiness, the good news that Christmas offer. Merry Christmas! The Lord is born!

                      [Fr RUBEN ELAGO MSP
                           Auckland, New Zealand]

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