January 30, 2023

Christmas is the birth of Jesus and is the fulfillment of God’s promise. It is also the fulfillment of the prophesies.

Christmas is likewise the incarnation of the Word and is the celebration of the God’s love that gives the virtue of joy, not emotion.

Pope Francis reiterated, “We cannot celebrate Christmas today without celebrating the Holy mass.”
Indeed, the etymology of the word Christmas is Christ and mass. History will narrate that Christ and mass will spell the word Christmas.

The joy of Christmas is not sheer feelings or emotions but authentic joy because it emanates from the love of God that empowers the innate beauty of the human person.

Joy is the intrinsic component of the human person that incites goodness. It does not depend on material gifts but spiritual gifts.

We can have and experience Christmas joy in the divine and spiritual activities we do. When people give us gifts, we will be happy but when we forgive people or we humbly seek for forgiveness, happiness is more and we call it joy. When we give without expecting something in return, there is joy. God will turn the generous giving as His doors and windows of blessings to you and your family.

Joy is the natural consequence of selfless giving and it is lasting. It is the virtue that reacts to the divine movement. It is not only a natural disposition of the spirit but a divine reaction to godliness.

Mario was once an elementary grader who got addicted to computer games. He spends most of his time in the computer shop. He skips meals.

One day, Maria, the computer shop owner, noticed the little Mario and his computer addiction. She approached him with kindness, “Little boy, come and have lunch with us.” But he ignored the invitation. Maria tried to reach out and flex her patience, “Little boy, if you want, you can help clean the shop before you play and if you are hungry, just come and join us for lunch?” The strategy worked.

Mario started to feel at home until Maria inquired, “Mario, where do you stay? May I invite myself to your house?” The chemistry worked too. They visited Mario’s place. “Mario, you have a good house with all the electronic gadgets and seemingly everything is here for you.”

Mario was silent for sometime and with low and soft voice he explained, “Auntie Maria, yes, I have all what I need materially but I did not experience the warm embrace of a mother and a father. I am alone in this big house. I did not feel at home. I felt an empty house. What are all these appliances for? What is this big concrete house provided with devices but overcome with loneliness?”

Maria found out that the boy was alone. She was stunned with grand silence as she pondered the sad situation of the boy.

In the Broken Guitar Project that graduated 34 batches since the first lockdown in 2020, there was this girl who excelled in learning musical instruments.

“Eliza, why did you persevere in learning ukulele?” She was smart. “It’s my way of healing myself and to manage my anxiety and depression. Unknowingly, I found out that I am becoming better each day until I can accompany my own song.”

Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Jesus. Today, the celebration of the holy mass is the best way to celebrate Christmas. Christ means savior and holy mass means the sacrament where we celebrate physically the salvific passion, death, and resurrection of Jesus. Without the holy mass, Christmas is not complete.

The holy mass is not confined in the church. It reaches to families and communities. It immerses and communes with the people especially the poor and suffering.

Hence, we must not be narrowed in the celebration of the sacraments inside the church but immerse our life to the people to bring Christmas joy. Joy therefore means J.O.Y.: Jesus first, others next, and yourself last.

Merry Christmas and a blessed New Year to all.

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