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 >
May
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   1
  • All day
    May 1, 2019

    Feast of St. Joseph the Worker / LABOR DAY
    *DAY OF THE RELIGIOUS BROTHERS
    ANNIVERSARY OF SIMPLE PROFESSION
    (2010-2019)
    Fray Mark Ryan Prado
2
  • All day
    May 2, 2019

    ANNIVERSARY OF SIMPLE PROFESSION
    (2009-2019)
    Fray Jose Prudencio Castillo
    Fray Hector Gonzales
    Fray Giovanni Gil Magbojos
    Fray Alexus Mansueto
    Fray Joseph Cyprian Panaligan
    Fray Jess Marco Sanchez
    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Margarita Ponce, AR
3
  • All day
    May 3, 2019

    CLOSING OF THE MEETING OF VOCATION PROMOTERS OF THE  ORDER IN COSTA RICA
    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Roland Cepe
    Fray Invenzor Melgazo
    Sr. Myrna Gimena, AR
    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Ma. Felicitas Lucinario, AR
4
  • All day
    May 4, 2019

    PRAYER INTENTION: FOR VOCATIONS (cf. LAMP 5c)
    ADMISSION TO THE MINISTRY OF LECTORATE (6 coristas) AND ACOLYTATE (10 coristas)
    Recoletos Formation Center
    ANNIVERSARY OF SIMPLE PROFESSION
    (1991-2019)
    Fray Sixto Bitangjol
    Fray Reynaldo Jaranilla
    Fray Antonio Zabala, Jr.
    (2008-2019)
    Fray Jose Teodulfo Jadulco
    Fray Ken Oliver Lao
5
  • All day
    May 5, 2019

    APOSTOLIC JOURNEY TO BULGARI& NORTH MACEDONIA
    May 5-7, 2019
    DAY 1: Rome Sofia
    07:00 Departure by air from Rome-Fiumicino International Airport from Sofia
    10:00 Arrival at Sofia International Airport
    OFFICIAL WELCOME
    MEETING WITH THE PRIME MINISTER in the Governmental Lounge of the Airport
    WELCOME CEREMONY in the square adjacent to the Presidential Palace
    COURTESY VISIT TO THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC in the Presidential Palace
    MEETING with the AUTHORITIES, with CIVIL SOCIETY and the DIPLOMATIC CORPS in Atanas Burov Square
    VISIT TO THE PATRIARCH AND TO THE HOLY SYNOD in the Palace of the Holy Synod
    PRIVATE PRAYER BEFORE THE THRONE OF SAINTS CYRIL AND METHODIUS in the Patriarchal Cathedral of Saint Alexander Nevsky
    REGINA COELI in Saint Alexander Nevsky Square
    16:45 HOLY MASS in Knyaz Alexandar SquareI
    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Araceli de Vera, AR
6
  • All day
    May 6, 2019

    APOSTOLIC JOURNEY TO BULGARIA & NORTH MACEDONIA
    DAY 2: Sofia-Rakovsky-Sofia
    09:30 Departure by air from Rakovsky
    HOLY MASS WITH FIRST COMMUNIONS in the Church of thSacred Heart of Rakovsky
    Lunch with the bishops of Bulgaria in the Convent of thFranciscan Sisters
    MEETING WITH THE CATHOLIC COMMUNITY in the Church of Saint Michael Archangel in Rakovsky
    17:15
    Departure by air for Sofia
    PRAYER FOR PEACE PRESIDED AT BY THE HOLFATHER IN THE PRESENCE OF LEADERS OF THE VARIOUS RELIGIOUS CONFESSIONS IN BULGARIA in  Nezavisimost Square in Sofia
7
  • All day
    May 7, 2019

    APOSTOLIC JOURNEY TO BULGARIA & NORTH MACEDONIA
    DAY 3: Sofia-Skopje-Rome
    08:20 Departure by air from Sofia Airport for Skopje
    08:1Arrival at Skopje International Airport
    OFFICIAL WELCOME
    WELCOME CEREMONY in the courtyard of the PresidentiaPalace
    COURTESY VISIT TO THE PRESIDENT in the PresidentiaPalace
    MEETING with the PRIME MINISTER in the PresidentiaPalace
    MEETING with the AUTHORITIES, with CIVIL SOCIETand with the DIPLOMATIC CORPS in the Mosaique Hall of the Presidential Palace
    VISIT TO THE MOTHER TERESA MEMORIAL WITTHE PRESENCE OF RELIGIOUS LEADERS AND MEETING WITH THE POOR
    HOLY MASS in Macedonia Square
    Lunch with the Papal Entourage
    ECUMENICAL AND INTERRELIGIOUS MEETING WITYOUNG PEOPLE in the Pastoral Centre
    MEETING WITH PRIESTS, THEIR FAMILIES, AND RELIGIOUS in the Cathedral
    FAREWELL CEREMONY at Skopje International Airport
    18:3Departure of Papal aircraft for RomeCiampino
    20:3Arrival at RomaCiampino International Airport
    WORLD DAY OF PRAYER FOR VOCATIONS (cf. Message of Pope Francis: http://w2.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/messages/vocations/documents/papa
    francesco_20190131_56messaggiogiornatamondialevocazioni.html)
    MEETING OF THE PROVINCIAL SECRETARIES WITH THE GENERAL SECRETARY
    May 7-9, 2019 / Rome
    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Leopoldo Estioko
8
  • All day
    May 8, 2019

    50TANNIVERSARY OF THE ESTABLISHMEN OF THE SACRED CONGREGATION FOR THE CAUSES OF SAINTS (1969)
    EPISCOPAL ORDINATION OF BISHOP-ELECT FIDELIS BAUTISTA LAYOG, D.D. (Auxiliary Bishop of Lingayen-Dagupan)
    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Dionisio Cachero
    Most Rev. Reynaldo Evangelista, D.D. (Diocese of Imus)
910
  • All day
    May 10, 2019

    RedCEAR MEETING (Coordinating Team and Technical Team)
    May 10-12, 2019 / Costa Rica
    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Ma. Elisa Cañete, AR
11
  • All day
    May 11, 2019

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Ma. Restituta Torres, AR
12
  • All day
    May 12, 2019

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Joseph Granada
    ANNIVERSARY OF SIMPLE PROFESSION
    (2007-2019)
    Fray James Castelo
    Fray Ralph Laureen Ciceron
    Fray Invenzor Melgazo
    Fray Nestor Raras
    Fray Felipe Rollon, Jr.
    Fray Rellyric Delos Santos
    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Eduviges de la Virgen del Carmen, AR
    Sr. Amanda de la Virgen del Carmen, AR
    Sr. Paz Reandelar, AR
13
  • All day
    May 13, 2019

    GENERAL COUNCIL MEETING
    May 13-16, 2019 / Rome
    PHILIPPINE GENERAL ELECTION (MIDTERM)
    BIRTHDAY
    Archbp. Peter Liu Cheng-chung, D.D.
    (Archdiocese of Kaohsiung)
    Fray Jayferson Baldelovar
    Sr. Ma. Gracelda Bendoval, AR
    Sr. Loraine Lechago, OAR (Bacolod Monastery)
14
  • All day
    May 14, 2019

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Nicolasa del Espiritu Santo, AR
    Sr. Escolastica Calsado, AR
    Sr. Natalia Paunil, AR
    Mo. Ma. Bibiana Vendiola, AR
15
  • All day
    May 15, 2019

    PATRONAL FIESTA SAN ISIDRO LABRADOR PARISH, CASIAN ISLAND, TAYTAY, PALAWAN
    Fiesta Mass: 10:00 AM
    Mass Presider & Homilist: Fr. Rey Aguanta (Administrator, Apostolic Vicariate of Taytay)
    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Gertrudes del Espiritu Santo, AR
16
  • All day
    May 16, 2019

    10TFOUNDING ANNIVERSARY OF RECOLETOS DE CASIAN COMMUNITY & SAN ISIDRO LABRADOR PARISH, CASIAN ISLAND, TAYTAY, PALAWAN (2009-2019)
    EPISCOPAL ORDINATION OF BISHOP-ELECT ALEJANDRO ACLAN, D.D. (Auxiliary Bishop-elect of Los Angeles, CA, USA / a Filipino)
    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Carmelo Borces
    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Ma. Gracia Pil, AR
17
  • All day
    May 17, 2019

    MEETING ON DISCERNMENT (FROM RAY TO SARF)
    May 17-19, 2019 / Mexico
    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Lucina Cabili, AR
18
  • All day
    May 18, 2019

    KUMPILAN NG BAYAN AT OUR LADY OF PEACE AND GOOD VOYAGE PARISH, TONDO
    Time: 1:30 PM
    Officiating Minister: Most. Rev. Broderick Pabillo, D.D.
    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Prudencia Martinez, AR
19
  • All day
    May 19, 2019

    PRAYER INTENTION: FOR THE SICK (cf. LAMP 5c)
    FIESTA OF THE OUR LADY OF PEACE AND GOOD VOYAGE PARISH, TONDO
    Fiesta Mass: 9:00 AM
    Presider & Homilist: Msgr. Jose Clemente Ignacio (Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Manila)
    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Ma. Cecilia Bongcawel, AR
    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Paula de la Purisima Concepcion, AR
20
  • All day
    May 20, 2019

    ORDERWIDE MEETING OF THE NATIONAL PRESIDENTOF THE SARF
    May 20-24, 2019 / Cuernavaca, Mexico
    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Don Besana
    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Dolores Cañete, AR
21
  • All day
    May 21, 2019

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Victoria Sandiego, AR
    Sr. Sulpicia Geronimo, AR
    Sr. Cynthia Camuta, AR
    Sr. Maria Flor Mejarito, AR
22
  • All day
    May 22, 2019

    FEAST OF ST. RITA OF CASCIA
    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Ma. Emy Catalonia, OAR (Bacolod Monastery)
    Sr. Ma. Quiteria Ragundiaz, OAR (Bacolod Monastery)
23
  • All day
    May 23, 2019

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Caridad Salazar, AR
24
  • All day
    May 24, 2019

    DAY OF PRAYER FOR THE CHURCH IN CHINA
    EPISCOPAL ORDINATION OF BISHOP-ELECT LEO MAGDUGO DALMAO, CMF, D.D. (Prelature of Isabela, Basilan)
    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Justina de Leon, AR
    Sr. Vicenta Climacosa, AR
    ANNIVERSARY OF SIMPLE PROFESSION
    [1986-2019]
    Fray Eduardo Celiz, Jr.
    Fray Joel Naranja
    Fray Emilio Edgardo Quilatan
25
  • All day
    May 25, 2019

    FOUNDING ANNIVERSARY OF THE RECOLETOS DE BACOLOD COMMUNITY (1962-2019)
    FOUNDING ANNIVERSARY OF THE RECOLETOS DE MIRANILA COMMUNITY (1985-2019)
    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Rey Tripulca
    Sr. Ma. Nicholasa Sabado, AR
    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Ma. Auxiliadora Somosot, AR
26
  • All day
    May 26, 2019

    PATRONAL FIESTA OF OUR LADY OF THE VISITATION PARISH
    (Pasibi East, Urbiztondo, Pangasinan)
    Fiesta Mass: 9:00 A.M.
    Presider & Homilist: Most Rev. Fidelis B. Layog (Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Lingayen-Dagupan)
    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Avelina Tatel, AR
    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Angustias Librea, AR
27
  • All day
    May 27, 2019

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Alfreda Lobitaña, AR
28
  • All day
    May 28, 2019

    DAY OF PRAYER FOR THE SANCTIFICATION OF PRIESTS
    WORLD DAY OF HUNGER (cf. LAMP 52)
    PRAYER INTENTION: FOR THE MISSIONS (cf. LAMP 5c)
    BIRTHDAY
    Most Rev. Emilio Marquez, D.D. (Diocese of Lucena)
    Sr. Emilia Buenaseda, AR
    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Ma. Carmen Bolaños, AR
29
  • All day
    May 29, 2019

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Salome Paderogo, AR
    Sr. Ma. Leontina Corona Mira, AR
30
  • All day
    May 30, 2019

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Cristituto Rey Tepace [simple prof.]
    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Teresita Salada, AR
31
  • All day
    May 31, 2019

    FEAST OF THE VISITATION OF THBLESSED VIRGIN MARY
    APOSTOLIC JOURNEY TO ROMANIA
    (May 31-June 2, 2019)
    Day 1: Rome-Bucharest
    8:10 -DEPARTURE by air from Rome-Fiumicino Airport for Bucharest
    11:30 -ARRIVAL at Henri CoandăOtopeni International Airport in Bucharest
    -OFFICIAL WELCOME at the airport
    -WELCOME CEREMONY at the entrance of the complex of the Cotroceni Presidential Palace
    -COURTESY VISIT TO THE PRESIDENT OF ROMANIA in the Cotroceni Presidential Palace
    -MEETING WITH THE PRIME MINISTER in the Cotroceni Presidential Palace
    13:00MEETING with the AUTHORITIES, with CIVIL SOCIETY and with the DIPLOMATIC CORPS in Cotroceni Palace
    15:45PRIVATE MEETING WITH THE PATRIARCH in the Palace of the Patriarchate
    -MEETING WITH THE PERMANENT SYNOD OF THE ROMANIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH in the Palace of the Patriarchate
    THE LORD’S PRAYER in the new Orthodox Cathedral
    -HOLY MASS in the Catholic Saint Joseph Cathedral
 

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