Mission Society of the Philippines


Father Moderator's Christmas Message 2020



“Let us all rejoice in the Lord, for our Savior has been born in the world.” (Antiphon Midnight Mass).

I may sound insensitive beginning this Christmas message with an invitation to Rejoice!  I know that many of us, if not all of us, have been disturbed by the present situation of our world.  This invitation to rejoice in the Lord comes at a time when the world is plague by a pandemic which has been causing so much pain and agony for so many people all over the world.  Not only to people who have been sick and those who have lost their loved ones, but also all the economic, social and psychological turmoil that it has caused to many.  Though the world is very much eager to return to the normal way of life, the fear and anxiety of illness and calamities lingers.  Where does the reason to rejoice fit in this present state of our world?

Yet if we can only look back at the first Christmas, we know that it is also far from that “silent night, holy night” Christmas we have made it to be.  Our romantic Christmas songs and ‘cute’ Belens are perhaps clear expresions of the Christmas we have imagined that it should be.  However, the first Christmas was in fact a time of unrest and uncertainty.  A virgin was told she would give birth and the soon to be husband had to accept that it was from a power on high that it has happened.  It was a time when a decree for a census was ordered by the Emperor and the normal daily life was disturbed.  A visit of the magi prompted a ruthless king to kill innocent babies for fear of losing his power.  A young couple had to contend with a manger for their newly born child, only to find themselves later fleeing in order to escape murder.  Then too was so much fear and anxiety.   The first Christmas was far from being peaceful, silent and calm.  No one may have sung “Joy to the World” back then.

However, the message of the angel to Mary was to rejoice.  The message of the angels to the shepherds was also to rejoice.  It is a message not only about the present but also the future.  It is a message not only about the birth of a child but about what this child will bring about.  The reason to rejoice is the birth of a savior:  not only about the birth of Jesus but about the future that will surely happen because of his birth.  The reason to rejoice was about what this child promises to bring and to fulfill. 

Christmas this year and the months that will follow may not be as joyous as it has been or how we have been used to, but the true Christmas is the promise which this Savior has come to fulfill, which should make us all hopeful, knowing and believing that the best is yet to come because of his birth.  We celebrate not only our Lord’s birth but also the promise that his presence will bring because He is Emmanuel, God with us.   This is the reason for our rejoicing!


Fr. Jonathan N. Germinanda, MSP

Father Moderator

December 25, 2020

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