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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< 2019 >
February
SMTuWThFS
     1
  • All day
    February 1, 2019

    32nd FOUNDING ANNIVERSARY (1987-2019) OF THE OUR LADY OF CONSOLATION PARISH, Miranila, Quezon City
    Note: The celebration is moved to February 3 (Sunday)

    REGIONAL RAY SUMMIT – LUZON
    Inclusive dates: February 1-3, 2019
    Venue: SSC-R de Cavite, Cañacao Campus
    Theme: “Filipino Youth in Mission: Beloved. Gifted. Empowered.”

2
  • All day
    February 2, 2019

    FEAST – PRESENTATION OF THE LORD (CANDELARIA)

    WORLD DAY FOR CONSECRATED LIFE

    Day of Consecrated Life- Diocese of Cubao
    Venue: National Shrine of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Broadway Avenue, New Manila, Quezon City

    15:00 Registration
    15:30 Talk: “Challenges and Prophetic Roles of the Priestly and Consecrated Life in our Time.” Speaker: Most Rev. Pablo Virgilio David, D.D.
    17:00 Snacks
    17:30 Solemn Vespers
    18:00 Eucharistic Celebration Mass Presider: Most Rev. Honesto F. Ongtioco, D.D.
    19:00 Fellowship

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Ma. Petra Pascual, AR

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Socorro Japson, AR

3
  • All day
    February 3, 2019

    APOSTOLIC JOURNEY TO THE UNITED ARAB EMIRATES
    DAY 1: ROME – ABU DHABI
    13:00 Departure by plane from Roma/Fiumicino for Abu Dhabi
    22:00 Arrival at Abu Dhabi Presidential Airport / Official Welcome

    CEAP SUPERINTENDENTS COMMISSION MID-YEAR ASSEMBLY
    Inclusive Dates: February 3-6, 2019
    Venue: L’Fisher Hotel, Bacolod City, Negros Occidental

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Ceferino Añez

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Filomena de Jesus, AR

4
  • All day
    February 4, 2019

    APOSTOLIC JOURNEY TO THE UNITED ARAB EMIRATES
    DAY 2: ABU DHABI
    12:00 Welcome Ceremony at the main entrance of the Presidential Palace
    12:20 Official visit to the Crown Prince in the Presidential Palace
    17:00 Private meeting with the members of the Muslim Council of Elders in the Grand Mosque of Sheik Zayed
    18:10 Interreligious meeting at the Founder’s Memorial

    MEETING OF THE COMMISSION ON FINANCE AND ASSETS IN ROME
    Inclusive dates: February 4-8, 2019

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Bernard Amparado
    Sr. Andrea Cabunilas, AR
    Sr. Jannet Nicer, AR

5
  • All day
    February 5, 2019

    APOSTOLIC JOURNEY TO THE UNITED ARAB EMIRATES
    DAY 3: ABU DHABI – ROME
    9:15 Private visit to the Cathedral
    10:30 Holy Mass in the ZAYED SPORTS CITY
    12:40 Farewell Ceremony at Abu Dhabi Presidential Airport
    13:00 Departure by plane for Rome
    17:00 Arrival in Rome/Ciampino International Airport

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray James Castelo
    Fray Jovy Gallego
    Sr. Anselma Millan, AR

6
  • All day
    February 6, 2019

    SPORTSFEST – USJ-R, BALAMBAN CAMPUS
    Inclusive dates: February 6-9, 2019

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Ronel Gealon
    Mo. Ma. Emilia Gaspillo, AR
    Sr. Doraine Suyko, AR

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Fray Alberto Avanzado

7
  • All day
    February 7, 2019

    13th PROVINCIAL COUNCIL MEETING

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Jess Marco Sanchez
    Sr. Ma. Lina Gonzaga, AR
    Sr. Gewena Gay Villarubia, AR

8
  • All day
    February 8, 2019

    5th INTERNATIONAL DAY OF PRAYER AND AWARENESS AGAINST HUMAN TRAFFICKING (cf. LAMP, 52)

    GENERAL ASSEMBLY MEETING – CORE GROUP OF THE SECRETARIAT OF SPIRITUALITY AND FORMATION
    Venue: Bulwagang Recoletos Atrium
    8:00 AM – 5:00 PM

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Elflida Palma, AR

9
  • All day
    February 9, 2019

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Elpidio Sarita, Jr.

10
  • All day
    February 10, 2019

    20th INAUGURATION ANNIVERSARY (1999-2019)
    OF THE PROVINCE OF ST. EZEKIEL MORENO

11
  • All day
    February 11, 2019

    OUR LADY OF LOURDES

    WORLD DAY OF THE SICK (cf. LAMP, 52)

    90th ANNIVERSARY OF THE SIGNING OF THE LATERAN TREATY FOR THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE STATE OF VATICAN CITY (1929)

    EPISCOPAL ORDINATION OF BISHOP-ELECT RONALD IGNACIO LUNAS of PAGADIAN

    MEETING OF THE GENERAL SECRETARIAT OF VOCATIONS AND YOUTH – SECTION FOR VOCATION MINISTRY
    Rome / February 11-12, 2019

    PATRONAL FIESTA – OUR LADY OF LOURDES CHAPLAINCY
    Brgy. Tambo, Ayungon, Negros Oriental

    23rd ANNIVERSARY of the RST-UST Affiliation (1995-2019)

    ARRIVAL OF FATHER GENERAL FOR VISITA DE RENOVACION – ST. EZEKIEL PROVINCE

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Filomena Oliva, AR
    Sr. Marisa Dacuya, AR

    PRESBYTERAL ANNIVERSARY
    (2017-2018)
    Fray Roweno Eugenio Hamo
    Fray Sir Michael Dineros
    Fray John Paul Tanquis

12
  • All day
    February 12, 2019

    INSTALLATION OF BISHOP-ELECT DAVID WILLIAM ANTONIO OF ILAGAN

    RENEWAL VISIT TO RECOLETOS DE INAGAWAN

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Ma. Gloria Abrenilla Acha, AR

13
  • All day
    February 13, 2019

    MEETING OF THE GENERAL SECRETARIAT OF VOCATIONS AND YOUTH, WITH THE PRESIDENTS OF THE PROVINCIAL SECRETARIAT
    Rome / February 13-14, 2019

    RENEWAL VISIT TO RECOLETOS DE PLARIDEL

14
  • All day
    February 14, 2019

    RENEWAL VISIT TO RECOLETOS DE CASIAN

15
  • All day
    February 15, 2019

    75th ANNIVERSARY OF THE DESTRUCTION OF THE ABBEY OF MONTE CASINO (1944)

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Maria Aurora Baygan, AR

16
  • All day
    February 16, 2019

    FATHER GENERAL’S MEETING WITH THE AR SISTERS & SARF-PALAWAN CHAPTERS AT SEMSDC, PUERTO PRINCESA

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Porferia Tundag, AR

17
  • All day
    February 17, 2019

    CULMINATION OF ESCUELA DE FORMACION IN COLOMBIA

    RENEWAL VISIT TO RECOLETOS DE BALAMBAN

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Virgilio Paredes, Jr.

18
  • All day
    February 18, 2019

    MEETING OF THE GENERAL SECRETARIAT OF SPIRITUALITY AND FORMATION – SECTIONS FOR INITIAL AND PERMANENT FORMATION
    Colombia

    RENEWAL VISIT TO RECOLETOS DE LARAY
    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Jerik Troy Siozon
    Fray Mark Saludes

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Genoveva del Sgdo. Corazon de Jesus, AR

19
  • All day
    February 19, 2019

    MEETING OF THE GENERAL SECRETARIAT OF SPIRITUALITY AND FORMATION WITH THE PRESIDENTS OF THE PROVINCIAL SECRETARIATS OF SPIRITUALITY AND FORMATION
    Colombia

    RENEWAL VISIT TO RECOLETOS DE CEBU

    ARRIVAL OF FRAY ANTONIO CARRON FROM ROME

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Dunstan Huberto Decena

    ANNIVERSARY OF PRESBYTERAL ORDINATION
    (2003-2019)
    Most. Rev. Patricio Buzon, SDB, D.D. (Bishop of Bacolod)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Pia de San Sebastian, AR
    Sr. Josefina Disen, AR

20
  • All day
    February 20, 2019

    FATHER GENERAL JOINS MEETING WITH GENERAL SECRETARIAT OF APOSTOLATE
    Talavera House of Prayer-Recoletos, Cebu City

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Ines de Padua, AR

21
  • All day
    February 21, 2019

    MEETING WITH PRESIDENTS OF EPISCOPAL CONFERENCES
    Inclusive dates: February 21-24, 2019

    PRESENTATION OF FRAY CARRÓN AND MESSAGE FROM FATHER GENERAL WITH ALL RELIGIOUS, LAY ADMIN AND FACULTY & STAFF OF THE RECOLETOS SCHOOLS IN CEBU, TOGETHER WITH THOSE WORKING IN THE PASTORAL MINISTRY IN CEBU
    Venue: USJ-R Center for Performing Arts, Cebu / 10:00 – 12:00
    Theme: “Recoletos Youth in Mission and Communion: Beloved. Gifted. Empowered.”

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Nimrod Launio

    ANNIVERSARY OF CREATION AS CARDINAL
    (2001-2019)
    Pope Francis (Jorge Mario Bergoglio)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Aniceta de la Santisima Trinidad, AR

22
  • All day
    February 22, 2019

    FEAST – CHAIR OF ST. PETER
    RENEWAL VISIT TO RECOLETOS DE VALENCIA
    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Ma. Flora Silverio, AR

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Ma. Lucila Reyes, AR

23
  • All day
    February 23, 2019

    RENEWAL VISIT TO RECOLETOS DE TAMBO

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Ana Maria Rosello, AR
    Sr. Exaltacion Lagrimas, AR

24
  • All day
    February 24, 2019

    RENEWAL VISIT TO RECOLETOS DE SAN CARLOS

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Rommel Rubia

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Jesusa de Vera, AR

25
  • All day
    February 25, 2019

    33rd ANNIVERSARY OF EDSA PEOPLE POWER REVOLUTION (1986-2019)

    RENEWAL VISIT TO RECOLETOS DE BACOLOD

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Roselyn Jardenil, AR

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Wenifreda Sajorda, AR

26
  • All day
    February 26, 2019

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Julius James Tinapao [simple prof.]

    PRESENTATION OF FRAY CARRÓN AND MESSAGE FROM FATHER GENERAL WITH ALL RELIGIOUS, LAY ADMIN AND FACULTY & STAFF OF THE RECOLETOS SCHOOLS IN NEGROS, TOGETHER WITH THOSE WORKING IN THE PASTORAL MINISTRY IN NEGROS
    UNO-R, Bacolod/ 10:00 – 12:00

    BLESSING OF THE UNO-R IS BUILDING

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Fray Severino Cuesta (2000-2019)
    Sr. Teresa Constantino, AR

27
  • All day
    February 27, 2019

    ANNIVERSARY OF PRESBYTERAL ORDINATION (1982-2019)
    Luis Antonio Card. Tagle (Archdiocese of Manila)

    AM: FATHER GENERAL’S VISIT TO OAR NUNS IN TANGUB MONASTERY

    RENEWAL VISIT TO RECOLETOS DE TALISAY

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Teresita Caberte, AR

28
  • All day
    February 28, 2019

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Ma. Crisanta Armendez, AR
    Mr. Fulgencio Culaton (Brother-General of the Order)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Milagros de San Nicolas de Tolentino, AR

  

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