Veritas PH

The WORD. The TRUTH.

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After almost two years of Virtual Christmas Parties, this week I was invited to attend at least six “Face to Face” Christmas Parties for each of the universities and organizations I belong to.  So besides gaining those extra pounds from eating such sumptuous meals, I started pondering on the underlying motivation of why we attend such gatherings despite the routinely done program sequence of FOOD—GAMES—RAFFLE—EXCHANGE GIFT.

 

Of course, the food would be such a feast, but do we attend simply because of the crispy lechon we could eat?  Or do we painstakingly sit in our chairs during the entire gathering in hopeful anticipation of that “grand raffle” prize we could possibly win and take home?  Or could it be because attendance was compulsory as a prerequisite to a Christmas Bonus?  Or is it because it is our once in a year chance to break free from the daily confines of office work to finally showcase our hidden talents which sometimes lie buried in self-defeat?

 

Well, as I sat in each of those Christmas Party, I realized that such gathering was more than just the food, talent show, gifts and prizes … It was celebration among family and friends that brought a sense of happiness among those sharing in the festivities.  It was an experience of the various Joys of Christmas.

 

THE JOY OF COMPANIONSHIP.  “The word (Jesus) became flesh and dwelt among us.”  Christ shared in our common humanity to be one with us.  This is the spirit of the Christmas Season … to share in the company of those we love.  More than the mere merriment of our Christmas parties is the joy of togetherness, and by partaking in these festivities we acknowledge that we are part of a family, community or institution to which we are truly grateful for all the love and friendship we were blessed to have.  The so called “Samahan ng mga Malalamig ang Pasko (SMP)” will never exist if we open ourselves to the warmth and concern of the people around us most especially to those who care and feel affection for us.

 

THE JOY OF SHARING.  Personally, I believe that it wasn’t coincidence that Christ was born in a manger.  A manger is where we feed animals, and Christ born in a manger would eventually reveal that Christ would symbolically be “food for men”.  Christ would offer himself as the “bread of life”, inspiring us in each and every Eucharistic Celebration (holy sacrifice of the mass) to share in the same breaking of the bread for others.  So, each time we open those “exchange gifts” from our “Monito or Monita” and see that the items inside does not conform to the agreed upon amount.  Let us not be too frustrated for the true essence of Christmas is in giving.  Besides, it may sound cliché but I still believe that in each and every gift it is always the thought that counts.

 

THE JOY OF FORGIVENESS.  Christ was born for the salvation of men through the forgiveness of our sins.  The promise of deliverance in our Holy Bible’s Old Testament finally found fulfillment in the birth of our savior Jesus Christ.  So each time we attend a Christmas party, we should take that opportunity to reach out and reconcile with those we couldn’t see “eye-to-eye” due to personal misunderstandings.  For how can we truly celebrate the birth of Christ if hatred lurks within us?  How can the joy of the Yuletide Season fill our hearts if we allow ourselves to be consumed by the loathing, we have towards those we consider as our adversaries?  And, how can we commemorate the wonderful promise of our salvation if we ourselves are unwilling to forgive those who have sinned against us?

 

In a few days we will all celebrate Christmas and will be invited to a couple more of Christmas Parties but let us not be overwhelmed by the glitter and spectacle of all these festivities.  Let us look beyond the banquet, gifts and entertainment of all our Christmas parties and see the value of COMPANIONSHIP, SHARING and FORGIVENESS to which this blessed season brings.  And only then can we truly experience the true joys of Christmas.

 

“The Word of God, who created the world and who gives meaning to history and to humanity’s journey, became flesh and came to dwell among us. He came like a whisper, like the murmur of a gentle breeze, to fill with wonder the heart of every man and woman who is open to this mystery. The Word became flesh in order to dialogue with us. God does not desire to carry on a monologue, but a dialogue. For God himself, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, is dialogue, an eternal and infinite communion of love and life. By the coming of Jesus, the Person of the Word made flesh, into our world, God showed us the way of encounter and dialogue. Indeed, he made that way incarnate in himself, so that we might know it and follow it, in trust and hope” (Pope Francis).

 

To all my family, friends and colleagues at Radyo Veritas 846, People’s Journal Group of Publications, San Roque de Pasay, Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila (PLM), Philippine Women’s University (PWU), and Caritas Manila … you are my true joy this Yuletide Season.

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Veritas Editorial

Rev. Fr. Anton CT Pascual

Rev. Fr. Anton CT Pascual

President of Radio Veritas

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