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Christmas: Star of Joy

Last Sunday was Gaudete Sunday, it is a counterpart to Laetare Sunday, and provides a similar break about halfway through a season which is otherwise of a penitential character, and signifies the nearness of Jesus’ coming.

We recognize the joyful waiting of the season that will culminate in the birth of Jesus on Christmas by changing the liturgical color to rose. Rose is a “brightening” of the ordinary violet and hence symbolizes joy.

Not everyone during Christmas time is joyful. Why? How can you be happy when there would be no food on the table for Noche Buena? For those who have budget it is a splendid opportunity to get together and celebrate, but for the have-nots the occasion is a manifestation of sadness.

How can you be joyful during Christmas Eve? Why not purchase a bucket of Chickenjoy…Yes, the famous delectable feast from Jollibee. If you want to be truly happy and make the Season more joyful and meaningful, look for a homeless family and give that bucket of joy to them for their Noche Buena. Christmas is the occasion to be more kind and more charitable.

Where in the world can you find the happiest country in the whole world? That would be Finland, my friend. Their secret? Well, the pace of their lifestyle is much more relaxed and much slower. And, they have a high regard and respect to Mother Nature.

Here in The City of Naga we have a Joy Street. Perhaps, just walking along this road would make one happier. The point really is you need not go far to find joy. You need not go to Finland to find gladness of the heart.

Nature is everywhere of course. The grandeur of the Creation of God. God is the Creator. He is Omnipresent. So, take time to smell the roses. Enjoy the sunrise and the sunset. And, the other myriad reminders of God’s Love to all of us.

Home is where the heart is. If God is in your heart, you have everything. If you want Hope, and Peace-- you will have them. For God is Hope and God is Peace.

Sometimes, we worry too much about the future, we regret to much about the past-- unfortunately, this results to not living in the present. Maybe, we should like to emulate the example of Mother Mary.

When the Angel Gabriel announced to her that she will conceive a child through the power of the Holy Spirit, she just exclaimed that she knows no man. The reassurance from Angel Gabriel was enough and she replied, “Be it done to me, according to thy word.”

Mama Mary has so much Faith. The Angel Gabriel need not tell her that she will have difficulties in finding a place for her Infant. That Saint Joseph and her would flee to Bethlehem.

In life we have to realize that God’s Grace is enough for each and every single one of us. In suffering, there is joy. Jesus too suffered. He has no sin. He need not suffer. He eventually was glorified. In great suffering there is great glory.

Thus, joy is in our heart if Jesus is in our heart. We are all Innkeepers. And, the ironic and iconic phenomenon is He was born in a manger. And, the first guests were shepherds. Poor people.

Yes, the sufferers are very close to His heart. Don’t you feel special? He could have chosen to be born in a palace but He chose a manger instead. Rich wise men roamed the Earth to find Him.

A Star guided them. They brought gold, myrrh, and frankincense. Now, you can be a King too, this Christmas why not give a bucket of chicken from KFC, Shakey’s, McDonald’s, Biggs, Chowking, Greenwich, or Chickenjoy from Jollibee to a needy family. Food or no food the operative word is together. Christmas spent together with family and friends and the community is enough.

No. There has to be a salo-salo with handa no matter how modest it would be… Most especially for the children.


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