The secret of a happy and joyful Christmas (Midnight Mass)

Christmas has lost its original meaning for many people. Hopefully we can go beyond the superficial celebration of Christmas and instead focus on Jesus, love and giving.

I once watched a pantomime performed by children. In that presentation, Sta. Claus was shot and killed. This was not received well by the audience and the director was harshly criticized. But someone said, “I agreed with the mime, the meaning of Christmas has been misunderstood, ignored, tolerated and abused.”  Misunderstood: Santa Claus and the Christmas tree became substitutes for the real liturgy of the birth of Jesus. Many feel Christmas is complete if there are Christmas decorations, gifts, or new dress, or food on the table.

Ignored:  Some avoid Christmas, they feel it is just buying things and they don’t have the money to use for.  Christmas, they feel is only for the rich who can go to malls to splurge on luxuries.

Tolerated: People sometimes hesitate to visit the folks in the provinces. Will the time and expense be worth it? Should they go to Church? Should they exchange gifts?  Should they wake up early for the Simbang Gabi?  Then they decide to do them all, fearing others will say they are not Christians.

Abused: “Lord, salamat, Christmas na naman, may 13th month pay, bonus, regalo, parties, bakasyon….” ito ang mahalaga sa Christmas”.

We see very clearly the loss of the original and only meaning of Christmas. What then is the original and only meaning of Christmas? We celebrate the birth of child born more than 2,000 years ago. He was the only Son, born of the Blessed Virgin Mary in a manger, in abject poverty. He was born a Jewish child in order to grow and proclaim the Kingdom and to die on the cross to save mankind.  Christmas is not only seeing the manger with the newly born child. Christmas is transcending this sight. It is looking and reflecting the oblation of this Son on the cross with deep sense of love and gratitude.  During Christmas, we must celebrate “birth” and “new life.”

Man’s obstinacy wore down our world. Christians are called to renew this old, tired and materialistic world. We are called to heal the wounded and pale Christian way of life and take it away from greed and indifference.

Our life has been too materialistic- parties, fancy dresses accessories, junk food, shopping, vacation, new cars, etc. Do we still proclaim today “Glory to God in the highest?” Are our Christmas celebrations bear Joy, Hope and Peace?

Do we place at the center of the celebration Christ who is the real source of Joy Hope and Peace? Can we put “Christ back into Christmas?”

  1. Together as a family at Christmas. Why do we gather together during Christmas? Is it to eat much and drink much? NO! Gathering as a family has a religious dimension.  God is active and alive in a family. We are God’s gifts for each other. God has given much, nourished us much in the celebration of the Holy Eucharist. We celebrate together, as a family, in order to become better persons and better Christians. In the family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph there were also tension, but they supported each other in the ups and downs of life to find joy, hope and peace. They prayed together. The family is very important to each one of us, as we celebrate Christmas.
  2. How about the giving of gifts during Christmas? Do we continue to give gifts on Christmas? YES!!! It is because we imitate God who gifted us with His Son. It is because Jesus continuously gives his body and blood to us when we celebrate the Holy Eucharist. Tayo ay hindi dapat maging materialistic sa Christmas. Magpatuloy tayo sa ating pagbibigayan. Kinakailangan lagi tayong bukas palad lalong lalo na sa mga kapos sa buhay. Let us not limit our generosity during Christmas season. We also should give ourselves and not just material things. This is the “Secret” of a happy Christmas.

Today let us not keep this secret any more. We should proclaim that “Secret” to everyone. We start this Christmas 2017 the real celebration of this season. Let’s start in our homes. -With our life as example let us show to everyone that we are full of joy as we celebrate the birth of Jesus.  We show to others that we are at peace with ourselves. We always wear a smile on our faces.  Let us convince others, our friends and neighbors that the Christian family and living Christian virtues are the core of our life.  We are willing and always ready to Give and Share with others not only material things but ourselves.  Let us become witnesses of Jesus. He is alive and active in each one of us transforming us and our world.

A Merry and Blessed Christmas to Everyone.

 

Fray Leopoldo V. Estioko, OAR

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Fray Leopoldo V. Estioko, OAR

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< 2018 >
December
SMTuWThFS
      1
  • All day
    December 1, 2018

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Felipe Rollon, Jr.

    PRESBYTERAL ANNIVERSARY
    (1984-2018)
    Fray Constantino Real
    (2007-2018)
    Fray Excel Saycon
    Fray Allan Rubett Cabatian

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    (2014-2018)
    Fray Cornelio Moral

2
  • All day
    December 2, 2018

    1ST SUNDAY OF ADVENT

    OPENING OF THE “YEAR OF THE YOUTH” (PHILIPPINE CHURCH)

    39th INTRAMUROS GRAND MARIAN PROCESSION (IGMP)
    Start of the Procession: 4:00 P.M.
    Carroza #70: Nuestra Sra. de la Salud

3
  • All day
    December 3, 2018

    OAR SOLIDARITY DAY

    PRESBYTERAL ANNIVERSARY
    (1994-2018)
    Fray Rouel Sia
    Fray Joel Villaruel
    Fray Bernabe Dosdos

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    (2011-2018)
    Fray Crisostomo Garnica

4
  • All day
    December 4, 2018

    PROVINCIAL COUNCIL MEETING

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray John Paul Tanquis
    Fray Kenneth Caligdong
    Sr. Noemi Manzo, AR

5
  • All day
    December 5, 2018

    430th ANNIVERSARY (1588-2018) OF THE AUGUSTINIAN RECOLLECTION

    SOLIDARITY CAMPAIGN ON THE ANNIVERSARY OF THE ARCORES LAUNCHING

    27th FOUNDING ANNIVERSARY OF SEMoNoRe, Antipolo
    PRESBYTERAL ORDINATION
    OLCP Church, Miranila, QC / Time: 9:00 AM
    Ordaining Prelate:
    Most Rev. Antonio Tobias, D.D.
    (Bishop of Novaliches)
    Ordinandi:
    Fray Paul S. Demillones, OAR
    Fray Niel Ryan E. Jarumay, OAR
    Fray Keneth B. Pahamutang, OAR
    Fray Elpedio N. Sarita, Jr., OAR
    Fray Kenneth S. Caligdong, OAR

    PRESBYTERAL ANNIVERSARY
    (1995-2018)
    Fray Reynaldo Jaranilla
    Fray Antonio Zabala, Jr.
    (2003-2018)
    Fray Romeo Ben Potencio, Jr.
    (2009-2018)
    Fray Roy Baluarte
    Fray Dominador Mercado, Jr.
    Fray Renier Alviola
    Fray Christopher Gaspar

    ANNIVERSARY OF SIMPLE PROFESSION
    Sr. Ma. Grace Gicos, OAR (2014-2018)

    ANNIVERSARY (2006-2018) OF ACCEPTANCE AS SISTERS-GENERAL OF THE ORDER (OAR)
    Ms. Brenda Saliendra
    Ms. Nestoria Bad-an

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Juana de Sta. Rita, AR

6
  • All day
    December 6, 2018

    REAP SEMINAR
    Inclusive Dates: December 6-7, 2018
    Seminar Work on the Life and Mission Project (LAMP) of the Educational Apostolate at Talavera House of Prayer- Recoletos, Cebu City

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Manuel Lipardo
    Fray Amado Emmanuel Bolilia

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Ma. Paciencia Orsolino, AR

7
  • All day
    December 7, 2018

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Jose Jaazeal Jakosalem
    Fray Stephen Pejano
    Sr. Teodora Gentapa, AR
    Sr. Marlyn Escalante, AR

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Andrea Martinez, AR

8
  • All day
    December 8, 2018

    SOLEMNITY OF THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION

    ROME: Act of Veneration to the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary at the Spanish Steps (1600H, Rome Time)

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Leo Neil Bullos
    Sr. Concepcion Anadon, AR
    Sr. Concepcion Potoy, AR

    PRESBYTERAL ANNIVERSARY
    (1967-2018)
    Most Rev. Patricio Buzon, SDB, D.D. (Diocese of Bacolod)
    (1972-2018)
    Most Rev. Honesto Ongtioco, D.D. (Diocese of Cubao)
    (2000-2018)
    Fray Jose Alden Alipin
    Fray Don Besana
    Fray James Bumangabang
    Fray Arnel Diaz
    Fray Rommel Rubia
    Fray Edgar Tubio
    (2006-2018)
    Fray Roland Cepe
    Fray Abraham Latoza
    Fray Gideon Antolin Lagrimas
    (2015-2018)
    Fray Ken Oliver Lao
    Fray Nimrod Launio
    Fray Leo Neil Bullos
    Fray Mark Ryan Prado
    Fray Enrico Nacorda
    Fray Nelson Plohimon
    Fray John Zachary Haguisan
    Fray Rafael Pecson
    Fray Jerik Troy Siozon
    Fray Lounal Jarumay

    ANNIVERSARY OF SIMPLE PROFESSION
    Sr. Marites Carasig, OAR
    Sr. Lucita Minguito, OAR

    ANNIVERSARY OF SOLEMN PROFESSION
    Sr. Marites Carasig, OAR
    Sr. Lucita Minguito, OAR

9
  • All day
    December 9, 2018

    2ND SUNDAY OF ADVENT

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Ma. Alberta Tabon, AR
    Sr. Ma. Rosalina Fuertes, AR
    Sr. Herminia Limotlimot, AR
    Sr. Myrna Mianagua, AR
    Sr. Bernadette Calzado, AR

    PRESBYTERAL ANNIVERSARY
    (2002-2018)
    Fray Joel Dequilla
    Fray Jay Parilla
    Fray Niño Cesar Ruiz

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Magdalena de Sta. Maria, AR
    Sr. Potenciana de la Encarnacion,AR

10
  • All day
    December 10, 2018

    MEETING (VIA VIDEOCONFERENCE) OF THE GENERAL COMMISSION ON SOCIAL APOSTOLATE

11
  • All day
    December 11, 2018

    PRESBYTERAL ANNIVERSARY
    (2010-2018)
    Fray Persiuz Joseph Decena

12
  • 2:50 PM
    December 12, 2018

    EPISCOPAL ORDINATION ANNIVERSARY
    (2001-2018)
    Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle

    HOMETOWN THANKSGIVING MASS OF FRAY KENNETH CALIGDONG, OAR
    St. Joseph Parish / Brooke’s Point, Palawan
    9:30 A.M.

13
  • All day
    December 13, 2018

    PRESBYTERAL ANNIVERSARY
    (1969-2018)
    Pope Francis
    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Carmen de Sto. Niño, AR

14
  • All day
    December 14, 2018

    MEETING OF THE GENERAL COMMISSION ON COMMUNICATIONS AND PUBLICATIONS
    Inclusive Dates: December 14-16, 2018 / Rome
    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Charlito Orobia

15
  • All day
    December 15, 2018

    1ST SOCIAL MEDIA SUMMIT
    Venue: Cebu Institute of Technology – University Gymnasium
    Time: 9:00AM – 5:00PM
    Keynote Speaker: Fr. Jessel Gerard Gonzales, SJ

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Florinda Gonzales, AR

16
  • All day
    December 16, 2018

    3RD SUNDAY OF ADVENT

    SIMBANG GABI STARTS

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Evangeline Geuncion, AR
    Sr. Paulina Admana, AR
    Sr. Ma. Milgaros Lucero, AR

17
  • All day
    December 17, 2018

    HOMETOWN THANKSGIVING MASS OF FRAY KENETH PAHAMUTANG, OAR
    Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish / Tagbilaran City, Bohol
    9:30 A.M.

    BIRTHDAY
    POPE FRANCIS (Jorge Mario Bergoglio)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Generosa Dimapilis, AR

18
  • All day
    December 18, 2018

    BIRTHDAY
    Most Rev. Ryan Jimenez, D.D. (Bishop of Chalan Kanoa)

19
  • All day
    December 19, 2018

    GENERAL COUNCIL MEETING
    Inclusive Dates: December 19-21 / Rome

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Excel Saycon
    Sr. Modesta San Jose, AR

20
  • All day
    December 20, 2018

    HOMETOWN THANKSGIVING MASS OF FRAY PAUL DEMILLONES, OAR
    Our Lady of Consolation Parish / Tacloban City, Leyte
    10:00 A.M.

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Albert Pellazar

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Soledad Samonte, AR

21
  • All day
    December 21, 2018

    PRESBYTERAL ANNIVERSARY
    (1965-2018)
    Most Rev. Antonio Tobias, D.D. (Diocese of Novaliches)

22
  • All day
    December 22, 2018

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Ma. Emma Navea, AR

    ANNIVERSARY OF SIMPLE PROFESSION
    (1986-2018)
    Fray Agustin Culaton

    ANNIVERSARY OF SOLEMN PROFESSION
    (1989-2018)
    Fray Agustin Culaton

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Mercedes Jayme, AR
    Sr. Felicidad Pangilinan, AR

23
  • All day
    December 23, 2018

    4TH SUNDAY OF ADVENT
    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Ricky John Austria

24
  • All day
    December 24, 2018

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Allan Jacinto
    Most Rev. Natale Paganelli, SX (Diocese of Makeni)

25
  • All day
    December 25, 2018

    CHRISTMAS DAY
    Urbi et Orbi / 12:00 NN (Rome Time)

    BIRTHDAY OF:
    Sr. Mary Lou Duhino, AR

    PRESBYTERAL ANNIVERSARY
    (1980-2018)
    Most Rev. Natale Paganelli, SX (Diocese of Makeni)

26
  • All day
    December 26, 2018

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Maria Gavino, AR

27
  • All day
    December 27, 2018

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Ma. Editha Escalania, AR
    Sr. Filomena Atun, AR

28
  • All day
    December 28, 2018

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Joel Naranja
    Fray Niño Cesar Ruiz
    Fray Jessriel Marcha

29
  • All day
    December 29, 2018

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Justa de Jesus, AR

30
  • All day
    December 30, 2018

    FEAST OF THE HOLY FAMILY
    [Rizal Day: Regular Holiday]

31
  • All day
    December 31, 2018

    ROME: Celebration of Vespers and Te Deum in Thanksgiving for the past year (1700H, Rome Time)

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Antonio Zabala, Jr.
    Fray Jose Alden Alipin
    Sr. Potenciana Azurin, AR

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Benigna de la Purisima Concepcion, AR

    HAPPY NEW YEAR 2019!

     

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