Saturday, December 26, 2009
Tonight we receive The Greatest Gift of all: JESUS CHRIST Our Savior.
A Gift offered to us by the Heavenly Father flowing out of His abundant Generosity and Kindness.
A Gift we don't even deserve because of our unworthiness.
A Gift that is totally unexpected, just like what Santa Claus could give us.
Notice how in life we often receive unexpected gifts and gifts that we don't even deserve.
Notice how often we are blessed unexpectedly by God even if we didn't ask for it.
And we realize that Christmas is always happening the whole year through in our lives not only this Christmas or this season but every moment of our lives.
There are always Christmas Moments.
December 17, I celebrated my Birthday.
A very special, one of a kind Birthday and memorable for me.
I had picture taking with Santa Claus.
I received Gifts and special Birthday song from parishioners after the mass.
The School Cheerleaders gave me a surprise Birthday Cheer in front of many watching basketball that day.
Then Friends gave me a party in the evening.
But what really made my day complete was when after the party towards midnight I was going home and I received a sick call.
I went to give a dieing person absolution and the last rite.
As I celebrated my Birthday I was praying for a person who was completing his life here on earth and was about to go.
After the family Thank me and I went home
In the middle of the night, at the end of the day
I felt the greatest feeling of Happiness and Contentment that really made my day complete.
I said This really is my special day.
What should we do this Christmas?
In the Sunday readings, John was asked by the people "What should we do?"
The context of the question was the uncertainty and confusion of the people in the time of John and Jesus.
The question was asked because they wanted to know more about following Jesus
and the question also had something to do with asking what should we do this advent season?
I was asked the same question by the family and the wife of a person by the name Joseph who just died and I was there comforting the family and blessed the remains. Joseph left his wife with two very young children.
They asked me that same question on that third Sunday of advent: what should we do, father?
I was so speechless and very sad that I didn't know what right words to say in those difficult times.
I asked my self what do you say to families about Christmas in times like this. In times of death, suffering and loneliness and poverty.
A Friend came to me and asked:
Father what shall I do?
These days I feel I am lost
I don't feel well
I am unhappy and I feel nothing right is going on in my life.
I don't know what to do and I dread and worry thinking of how long will this "desert experience" last.
I guess this is really what Christmas is telling us.
Christ coming to us as a Child and now He lies on the crib looking so helpless and powerless and looking with an uncertain future.
"God becoming Man" I guess must be "like being lost"
But take courage and journey with Jesus, I said.
With Him there is a promise of Hope and better tomorrow.
Some I observed would really like to take Christ away from Christmas.
A friend, working at a call center, told me that they were asked not to greet Merry Christmas to clients but just say: Happy Holidays.
I heard at the Philippine airport, workers were asked not to greet passengers and balikbayans with a Merry Christmas, saying that it connotes asking for gifts.
Others would just prefer to greet Seasons Greetings.
But I still believe that the Best way to greet others is to say MERRY CHRISTMAS
After the midnight mass
I saw the people who came to church went home and I heard many would be with their love ones and together they will celebrate Christmas.
I went home and ALONE I prepared myself a peanut butter sandwich with a diet coke.
As I ate alone I thought of the families celebrating.
I felt at peace also when I thought that I was being one with those who were alone and have nothing for Christmas and I know there were many.
I was one with those who did not have their families and love ones
And it was made more meaningful when I thought that I guess this was really How the First Christmas was, so simple, so peaceful but very contented.
I went to bed that night with the JOY of Christmas in my heart
This is a site of "Leaps of Faith" experiences and reflections. Be it Philosophical, Theological, Practical or Personal. It is also a site of Biblical reflections. But Above all, This is a site for YOU and ME.
"Leaps of Faith"
"LEAPS OF FAITH" Can be a religious movement of a person, an inner movement of belief, of trust on the greatest power of all, The Supreme being..Our Creator and Maker..Our God. They can be resolutions of a person everyday in his life to move forward, to be a better person, and to start a new life. They can be decisions of a person in times of great uncertainties, when he is not sure of what will come or happen and he makes a leap of faith. They can be steps, difficult steps that a person makes on his way to change or to start anew. Or they can simply be a persons resolve to fly, to travel..to widen his horizons, to learn more about life and to grow. These are Leaps of faith we make everyday and in great moments of our lives and they are worth considering and reflecting.