Christmas Reflection

1

A Tagalog conversation between Jesus and Sta Claus has been passed around, it narrates:

Jesus= “Alam mo, naiinggit ako sa ‘yo.”  (You know, I envy you.)

Sta Claus= “Bakit naman po?”   (But why?)

Jesus= “Kasi sa Kaarawan ko, ikaw ang inaabangan nila.”  (Because on my birthday, they are waiting for you.)

Sad but true. Many people, especially the young, are of this mentality: Christmas is Sta Claus, not Jesus. Hollywood and Walt Disney have produced so many movies –and very entertaining ones – on Sta Claus, and we Catholics do not even put a Nativity Scene or Belen in our homes. The Christmas tree is well decorated and lighted but no Belen is to be found. The malls have very commercialized decorations. In the late 60s, we as students would go around to see the different large sized Belens put up by big companies: Pepsi Cola, San Miguel, Magnolia, Philam Life, Meralco, etc. They were real spectacles. There was a year, however, when Walt Disney characters were displayed including the monsters. Then we now hear people greet us: “Happy Holidays” no longer “Merry Christmas”; taking out Christ from his own birthday!

Let this Christmas be an occasion for us to put back Jesus into His Birthday. Let us look back into the simple narrative of the Gospels, and be moved by the love of our God. God is the creator and owner of the whole world. He has the right to all the elegant clothes as we see at the Oscars. But he has only swaddling clothes –katsa lang ang damit niya. He has the claim to all the flood lights and camera attention given to actors and actresses, to outstanding basketball players, football heroes, or Formula 1 drivers; yet how does he come at his birth? He was rejected by the inn keepers and other town folks of Bethlehem. He has the right to a palace surrounded by servants and medical personnel, but he chooses a stable and is surrounded by animals and shepherds, the marginalized in Jewish society. He has the right to an elegant cradle or crib covered with linen and warm fabrics, but he chooses a manger. Manger is a trough –a palangana- made of wood, rectangular in shape- where the food for the cattle, especially the donkey, is placed. (“Manger” in Middle English & Anglo-French means “to eat”, giving us a hint of who he is = the Bread of Life.) We are attracted to the beautiful, the elegant –magara-, and the fragrant, but Jesus chooses to be born in a most unattractive place, a stable which is reserved only for animals. God is the owner of silver and gold, but he chooses to be born poor. We love comfort and convenience, but Jesus chooses the barest necessities. Many would choose to deliver their babies in an aircon room, with attending doctors and nurses, but God chooses to be born in an isolated stable with sheep, donkeys and cows around him.

As I look through the papers these days, I notice how they grow thick with advertisements and society pages. Much of fashion is printed, elegant people celebrating Christmas parties, many pages on appliances, drinks and delicacies, new resorts and housing projects, cars, electronics, furniture and jewelries. Our media is insensitive to the fact that majority of Filipinos cannot afford even a decent Noche Buena, much less a house or roof over their heads. Many cannot put on decent clothes to go to Church for Simbang Gabi. Many Filipinos have been left homeless by typhoons. I feel ashamed of how insensitive we have become, of how our government officials continue in their shameful ways; they take from the “Kaban ng Bayan” and spend it in lavish trips abroad, while our OFWs squeeze every dollar to send back to the Philippines to help their families. The actors and actresses are now bashing in the flood lights of the Filipino film festival, without thought of many helpless Filipinos.

Now is the time to go back to the stable of Bethlehem and contemplate the ways of God, so different from the ways of men. Feel the love of God, so rich and yet condescending to our poverty; so deserving of our love, yet rejected by innkeepers and town folks of his own city.

Mga Tatay, mga Nanay, look at Joseph and Mary; how they wish they could give Jesus a decent place with enough comfort for his birth, but they had to make do of a stable. What were their thoughts, their feelings knowing that this baby comes from God? They may have been sad, or perplexed that they could not give him any better or more comfortable place. They saw how God humbled himself to become a baby, but still he humbled himself the more by being born in a place like this, deprived of comfort and convenience. We proud and arrogant humans need to learn humility from Bethlehem. We need to learn love and compassion for the less fortunate as we see our God identifying himself with the deprived and the rejected. He comes to give himself to us, let us learn to open our hearts and our hands to the needs of others beginning with the members of our family. God is here giving himself to us, giving his love to us. Let us learn to give of ourselves, to give our love this Christmas –kahit hindi pasko tayo ay magbigayan. God is love, let us be witnesses to this love. Amen.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Fray Dunstan Huberto Decena, OAR

Fray Hubert Dunstan Decena, OAR

Priest/Religious/Bible Professor of the Order of Augustinian Recollects in the Province of St. Ezekiel Moreno.

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< 2021 >
August
SMTuWThFS
1
  • All day
    August 1, 2021

    JOHN MARIE VIANNEY SUNDAY

    BUWAN NG WIKA STARTS

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Gideon Antolin Lagrimas

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    +Sis. Antonia Canete, SAR (Cebu Chapter)

2
  • All day
    August 2, 2021

    RENEWAL VISIT 2021
    RECOLETOS DE LARAY / August 2-3

    BIRTHDAY
    Bro. Alejandro Leongas Jr., SAR (Antipolo Chapter)
    Bro. Hector Jardinero, SAR (Puerto Princesa Chapter)
    Sis. Angeline Ramos, SAR (Cavite Chapter)
    Sis. Fe Vivas, SAR (Puerto Princesa Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    +Sr. Amada de Ramos, AR
    +Bro. Armand Commandante, SAR (Provincialate Chapter)

3
  • All day
    August 3, 2021

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Jay Parilla
    Sr. Felma Elbanbuena, AR
    Bro. Christopher Taclobos, SAR (Bacolod Chapter)
    Bro. Rolando Dulaca, SAR (Bacolod Chapter)
    Carlos Benedict Rizaga (RAY-Balamban)

4
  • All day
    August 4, 2021

    PRAYER INTENTION: FOR OAR VOCATION (cf. LAMP II, 5c)

    RENEWAL VISIT 2021
    RECOLETOS DE BALAMBAN / August 4

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Eduardo Celiz, Jr.
    Most Rev. Gerardo Alminaza, D.D. (Diocese of San Carlos)
    Sr. Felisa Costonera, AR
    Sr. Eleuteria Lao, AR
    Sr. Yvette Galabo, AR
    Sis. Rodora Sienes, SAR (Miranila Chapter)
    Sis. Ofelia Rojo, SAR (Talisay Chapter)

    ANNIVERSARY OF EPISCOPAL ORDINATION
    Most Rev. Gerardo Alminaza, D.D. (Diocese of San Carlos)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    +Sr. Zenaida Ty, AR
    +Sis. Rosalina Derain, SAR (Tondo Chapter)
    +Sis. Evelyn Caballero, SAR (San Carlos Chapter)
    +Sis. Lourdes Alvarez, SAR (Cavite Chapter)

5
  • All day
    August 5, 2021

    RENEWAL VISIT 2021
    RECOLETOS DE CEBU / August 5-7

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Mark Ryan Prado
    Sis. Nieves Corpuz, SAR (Brooke’s Point Chapter)
    Sis. Gloria Ricarte, SAR (Cebu Chapter)
    Sis. Angela Cegegilla, SAR (Cebu Chapter)
    Sis. Rose Lamasan, SAR (Miranila Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    (2007-2021)
    +Fray Oscar de la Rosa

6
  • All day
    August 6, 2021

    TRANSFIGURATION OF THE LORD

    CHARTER DAY OF CEBU PROVINCE

    BIRTHDAY
    Sis. Augustina Sapid, SAR (Miranila Chapter)
    Sis. Teresita Dumas, SAR (Manila Chapter)
    Sis. Anita Buenavista, SAR (Brooke’s Point Chapter)
    Sis. Winnie Sumbillo, SAR (Bacolod Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    +Sr. Consuelo de San Agustin, AR
    +Bro. Nicolas Pelegro, SAR (Valencia Chapter)
    +Sis. Estella Buelo, SAR (Manila Chapter)
    +Sis. Francisca Capistrano, SAR (Tondo Chapter)
    +Sis. Carmen Loot, SAR (Miranila Chapter)
    +Sis. Fortunata Castañeda, SAR (Miranila Chapter)
    +Sis. Lilia de la Paz, SAR (Miranila Chapter)
    +Sis. Amancia Gagui, SAR (Miranila Chapter)
    +Sis. Rosario Manese, SAR (Miranila Chapter)

    [Henceforth, every 6th of the month – based on Nov. 6 as the date of the Commemoration of the Deceased Members of the Order
    Note: – will include those deceased SARF members whose death anniversary, due to some reasons, lacks the exact day of the month.]

     

7
  • All day
    August 7, 2021

    PARISH FIESTA (32nd FOUNDING ANNIVERSARY) OF OLCP-R,
    LARAY, TALISAY CITY, CEBU

    Theme: “Gifted to give”
    Time: 6:00 p.m.
    Presider: Most Rev. Jose Palma, D.D. (Archbishop of Cebu)

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Ma. Concepcion Reston, AR

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    +Sr. Concepcion Balin, AR

8
  • All day
    August 8, 2021

    19th SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Chrislean Rey Pamilaga (simply prof.)
    Bro. Jaime Manrique, SAR (Provincialate Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY:
    +Sr. Regina Bianes, AR

9
  • All day
    August 9, 2021

    WORLD DAY OF INDIGENOUS PEOPLES (cf. LAMP 52)

    RENEWAL VISIT 2021
    RECOLETOS DE HINATUAN /
    August 9-11

    BIRTHDAY
    Mayenne Flores (RAY-Baguio)

10
  • All day
    August 10, 2021

    START OF NOVENA TO ST. EZEKIEL MORENO

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Yolanda Navea, AR Sr. Myrna Arcegono, AR
    Bro. Lorenzo Vincoy, SAR (Valencia Chapter)
    Sis. Patrocinia Santos, SAR (Tondo Chapter)
    Sis. Norma dela Cruz, SAR (Inagawan Chapter)
    Sis. Ana Mae Gajete, SAR (Bacolod Chapter)
    Sis. Marivic Kee, SAR (Laray Chapter)
    Daniela Barong (RAY-Tambo)

11
  • All day
    August 11, 2021

    BIRTHDAY
    Maribel Catungal (RAY-Urbiztondo)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    +Sis. Virginia Pintor, SAR (Provincialate Chapter)
    +Sis. Adelaida Pua, SAR (Miranila Chapter)

12
  • All day
    August 12, 2021

    4th FOUNDING ANNIVERSARY OF THE QUASI PARISH OF N.S. DEL CARMEN IN HINATUAN, SURIGAO DEL SUR

    BIRTHDAY
    Sis. Elena Cheng, SAR (Manila Chapter)
    Sis. Margiolina Macariola, SAR (Talisay Chapter)

13
  • All day
    August 13, 2021

    BIRTHDAY
    Sis. Jurinda Gamao, SAR (Talisay Chapter)

14
  • All day
    August 14, 2021

    25TH FOUNDING ANNIVERSARY OF SARF-BAGUIO

    BIRTHDAY
    Ross Mabel Polangco (RAY-Cavite)

15
  • All day
    August 15, 2021

    SOLEMNITY OF THE ASSUMPTION OF MARY

    130th Anniversary (1891-2021)
    of the Consecration of Basilica of San Sebastian

    PATRONAL FIESTA MASS @ St. Ezekiel Moreno Church, Fanhua, Zhangzhi Township, Pingtung County (Diocese of Kaohsiung)
    Time: 3:00 p.m.
    Presider: Fray Nimrod Launio, OAR

    BIRTHDAY
    Sis. Ma. Consolacion Cruz, SAR (Provincialate Chapter)
    Sis. Collan Claire Bagaporo, SAR (Talisay Chapter)
    Rover Vincent Nahil (RAY-Talisay)

    ANNIVERSARY OF SOLEMN PROFESSION
    Mo. Ma. del Carmen, OAR (Bacolod Monastery)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    +Sr. Mamerta de San Agustin AR

16
  • All day
    August 16, 2021

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Ma. Adoracion Bonto, AR

    ANNIVERSARY OF SIMPLE PROFESSION
    (1980-2021)
    Fray Constantino Real

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    +Sr. Tomasa de San Jose, AR
    +Sr. Ma. Leonila Pesado, AR

17
  • All day
    August 17, 2021

    CLARE OF MONTEFALCO

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Mashyll Entac, AR
    Sis. Dionisia Cabrera, SAR (Tondo Chapter)

18
  • All day
    August 18, 2021

    ANNIVERSARY OF SOLEMN PROFESSION OF A RELIGIOUS BROTHER
    (2001-2021)
    Fray Raymund Alcedo

    BIRTHDAY
    Sis. Elena Culaton, SAR (Baguio Chapter)
    Sis. Carmenda Leonoras, SAR (BacolodChapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    +Sis. Rosario Ostia, SAR (Tondo Chapter)

19
  • All day
    August 19, 2021

    PRAYER INTENTION: FOR THE SICK (cf. LAMP II, 5c)

    SOLEMNITY OF ST. EZEKIEL MORENO Be reminded of the plenary indulgence we may obtain today!

    CANONICAL POSSESSION AND RITE OF INSTALLATION OF MOST REV. BRODERICK PABILLO, D.D. as the Vicar Apostolic of Taytay
    @ St. Joseph the Worker Cathedral, Taytay, Palawan
    Time: 9:00 a.m.

    PATRONAL FIESTA MASS @ SEMONORE (Antipolo City)
    Time: 9:00 a.m.
    Presider: Most Rev. Oscar Jaime Florencio, D.D.

    PATRONAL FIESTA MASS OF THE ST. EZEKIEL MORENO QUASI-PARISH, CAIDIOCAN, VALENCIA, NEGROS ORIENTAL Time: 10:00 a.m.
    Presider: Fray Jay Parilla, OAR

    PATRONAL FIESTA MASS @ St. Ezekiel Moreno Monastery, Bacolod City
    Time: 8:00 a.m.
    Presider: Most Rev. Louie P. Galbenis, SThD, DD (Bishop of Kabankalan)

    FIESTA MASS IN HONOR OF ST. EZEKIEL MORENO
    @ Kristo Rai Parish, Saipan, CNMI Time: 6:00 a.m.

    FIESTA MASS IN HONOR OF ST. EZEKIEL MORENO
    @ San Roque Parish, Saipan, CNMI Time: 6:00 p.m.

    PATRONAL FIESTA MASS @ SNTP Church (Quezon City) Time: 6:00 p.m.

    PATRONAL FIESTA MASS @ St. Ezekiel Moreno Chapel
    (near Balon-Pari), Inagawan, Puerto Princesa City, Palawan

    3RD FOUNDING ANNIVERSARY OF RECOLETOS DE BALAMBAN COMMUNITY

    START OF THE NOVENA TO ST. AUGUSTINE QUEZON CITY DAY

    BIRTHDAY
    Sis. Salvacion Granada, SAR (Antipolo Chapter)
    Sis. Esperanza Yung, SAR (Talisay Chapter)
    Sis. Quenne Palisoc (Cavite Chapter / Trial)

    ANNIVERSARY OF PRESBYTERAL ORDINATION
    (2002-2021)
    Fray Louie Gabinete
    Fray Jerome Virtudazo

    (2007-2021)
    Fray Ian Anthony Espartero
    Fray Allan Jacinto

    ANNIVERSARY OF SIMPLE PROFESSION
    Sr. Ma. Quiteria Ragundiaz, OAR

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    +Bro. Esdras Init, SAR (Valencia Chapter)

20
  • All day
    August 20, 2021

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Judd Galinato (simply prof.)
    Sis. Bernarda Villa, SAR (Valencia Chapter)

21
  • All day
    August 21, 2021

    POPE PIUS X

    NINOY AQUINO DAY

    BIRTHDAY
    Sis. Miller Lim, SAR (Talisay Chapter)
    Bro. Rolando Cariño, SAR (Talisay Chapter)

    ANNIVERSARY OF PRESBYTERAL ORDINATION
    Archbp. Jose Palma, D.D. (Archdiocese of Cebu)

22
  • All day
    August 22, 2021

    PATRONAL FIESTA MASS
    @ San Roque Parish, Saipan, CNMI Time: 9:00 a.m.
    Presider: Most Rev. Ryan Jimenez, D.D. (Bishop of Saipan)

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Leander Barrot
    Fray Paul Demillones
    Sis. Carmencita Onda, SAR (Brooke’s Point Chapter)
    Shiela Mae Catungal (RAY-Urbiztondo)

    ANNIVERSARY OF EPISCOPAL ORDINATION
    Bishop Roberto Gaa, D.D. (Diocese of Novaliches)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    +Fray Lino Agunod (2007-2021)
    +Sr. Ma. Fe Luna, AR
    +Sr. Matilde del Rosario, AR

23
  • All day
    August 23, 2021

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Ma. Benecia Olaño, AR
    Sr. Gecel Polestico, AR
    Bro. Eustaquio Claver Jr., SAR (Talisay Chapter)
    Sis. Milagros Pruna, SAR (Tondo Chapter)

24
  • All day
    August 24, 2021

    ANNIVERSARY OF SIMPLE PROFESSION
    (1963-2021)
    Fray Emeterio Buñao
    Fray Dunstan Hubert Decena
    Sis. Aurea Santos, SAR (Miranila Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    +Sis. Soledad Escultos, SAR (Cebu Chapter)
    +Sis. Esperanza Yung, SAR (Talisay Chapter

25
  • All day
    August 25, 2021

    BIRTHDAY
    Sis. Ma. Luisa Gemongala, SAR (Manila Chapter)
    Sis. Ercilla Ampil, SAR (Miranila Chapter)
    Angelika Perez (RAY-Urbiztondo)

    ANNIVERSARY OF PRESBYTERAL ORDINATION
    (1991-2021)
    Fray Eduardo Celiz, Jr. Fray Leopoldo Estioko
    Fray Gaudencio Geronimo de Mesa
    Fray Nemesio Tolentin

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    +Sr. Veronica de los Santos, AR
    +Sr. Andrea Cabunilas, AR
    +Bro. Fermin Alambra, SAR (Baguio Chapter)

26
  • All day
    August 26, 2021

    BIRTHDAY
    Sis. Zenaida Lapuz, SAR (Provincialate Chapter)
    Sis. Pacita Lazo, SAR (Miranila Chapter)
    Sis. Marichu Alcantara, SAR (San Carlos Chapter)
    Mikaela Loraine Toro (RAY-Valencia)

    ANNIVERSARY OF SIMPLE PROFESSION
    (1967-2021)
    Fray Rafael Cabarles

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    +Sr. Afra Medillo, AR

27
  • All day
    August 27, 2021

    FEAST OF ST. MONICA
    Be reminded of the plenary indulgence we may obtain today!

    “LECTURE SERIES” (8:00 a.m. / online)
    – St. Augustine and His Monastic Community

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Ma. Genoveva de Asis, AR
    Sis. Nilda Dasco, SAR (Manila Chapter)
    Sis. Adela Torcedo, SAR (Baguio Chapter) Judy Ann Mediavillo (RAY-Provincialate)

    ANNIVERSARY OF PRESBYTERAL ORDINATION
    (2009-2021)
    Fray Bob Cabanag

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    +Sr. Felicidad de Sto. Niño, AR
    +Sr. Geronima Ruiz, AR
    +Sis. Josefina Reyes, SAR (Manila Chapter)- Formation of the Order of St. Augustine

28
  • All day
    August 28, 2021

    PRAYER INTENTION: FOR THE OAR MISSION (cf. LAMP II, 5c)

    SOLEMNITY OF ST. AUGUSTINE
    Be reminded of the plenary indulgence we may obtain today!

    PRESBYTERAL ORDINATION
    Ordinandi:
    Fray Virgilio C. Calalang, Jr., OAR
    Fray Robin Ross S. Plata, OAR

    Venue: Our Lady of Consolation Parish Church, Miranila, Quezon City
    Ordaining Prelate: Most Rev. Roberto Gaa, DD (Bishop of Novaliches)

    PATRONAL FIESTA OF ST. AUGUSTINE PARISH
    Linyuan District, Kaohsiung
    Time: 10:00 a.m.
    Presider: Fray Corvin Maturan, OAR

    PATRONAL FIESTA OF ST. AUGUSTINE OF HIPPO QUASI- PARISH-RECOLETOS / Inayawan, Cebu City

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Agustin Culaton
    Sis. Digna Pacis, SAR (Provincialate Chapter)
    Sis. Emily Cuyahon, SAR (Baguio Chapter)
    Sis. Eva Yubuco, SAR (Cebu Chapter)
    Sis. Ruperta Marcelo, SAR (Manila Chapter)

    ANNIVERSARY OF SOLEMN PROFESSION
    Sr. Ma. Quiteria Ragundiaz, OAR

    ANNIVERSARY OF PRESBYTERAL ORDINATION
    (1988-2021)
    Fray Raul Buhay

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    +Mo. Monica de San Joaquin, AR

29
  • All day
    August 29, 2021

    ANNIVERSARY OF SIMPLE PROFESSION
    Mo. Lourdes Eizaguirre, OAR

30
  • All day
    August 30, 2021

    NATIONAL HEROES’ DAY

    BIRTHDAY
    Sis. Rose Rebecca Esteban, SAR (Provincialate Chapter)
    Sis. Rosita Javillo, SAR (Miranila Chapter)
    Sis. Lourde Soneja, SAR (Baguio Chapter) Shiela Flores (RAY-Provincialate)

    ANNIVERSARY OF SOLEMN PROFESSION
    Mo. Lourdes Eizaguirre, OAR

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    +Sr. Consuelo Dangan, AR

31
  • All day
    August 31, 2021

    BIRTHDAY
    Sis. Marina Batalla, SAR (Brooke’s Point Chapter)

    

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