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FATHER MODERATOR'S CHRISTMAS MESSAGE 2015

My dear Brothers, Sisters and Friends in Christ Jesus!

Time and again, we are faced with life’s challenges. Challenges that will test our faith in God. Some challenges help us deepen our understanding of the world and the people around us. While some others help us clarify the extent, the width and depth of our relationships.

There are challenges that push us to the limit. And we are left with few choices to cope with the pain. In the process, we resort to harsh judgment and broken relationships thereby hurting ourselves and others deeply. Sin is symbolically pictured in broken relationships. And when our relationships are broken, we feel God’s absence in our lives.

Pope Francis joyfully opened the Holy Door of Mercy on the occasion of the Feast of the Immaculate Conception last December 8. The feast was carefully chosen because it expresses the grandeur of God’s love. In Mary, God did not only forgive sins but even averted the original sin present in every man and woman who comes into this world. This is the love of God which precedes, anticipates and saves. And Mary’s title as  the Immaculate Conception made it possible for God to concretely illustrate love and mercy.

This Christmas, Jesus will come to stay in our hearts. His symbolic manifestation in the story of the Holy Family 2,000 years ago is for me the most perfect story of how God expressed His love and mercy. Yes, He did humble Himself and became like us except in sin, so that He can mend our broken hearts and restore to life the fallen.

Let us approach Christmas as a season of conversion, changing ourselves to become worthy of Jesus’ coming and reigning in our hearts. The gifts we give and receive are just means to express our love to one another. And the ‘Sambang Gabi’ or ‘Misa de Gallo’ are just but instruments for us to renew our relationship with God through Jesus in Mary.

Further, as Christmas is a time for giving, it is also a time for sharing what we have. It can also be a moment to re-connect with our loved once and a time most appropriate to re-constructing ourselves from being selfish to selfless, from being proud to becoming humble, and from being powerful to embracing powerlessness.

I wish you and your family a Merry Christmas and a Peaceful, Fruitful New Year!


 

Fr. Eladio B. Oliver, MSP

Father Moderator


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