READING— Luke 2: 1-14
Do not be afraid,
for behold, I proclaim to you good news of great joy
that will be for all the people.
This Christmas stands out for me as one most different from previous Christmases. This is the first Christmas when there seems to be less merry-making going around. The food is much simpler and the gifts are much less - many of them carrying cards that say ‘”In your name we have made a donation to those affected by the typhoon.”
It may be that our Christmas this year may be less merry but it is, in fact, more truly filled with hope and with expectant joy. And it all depends on what it is that we came to find. For if we came to the stable on that first Christmas night looking for a King in noble robes attended to by servants, we would be very disappointed to find a mere child wrapped in swaddling clothes. For the kingship of the Lord as the Gospel reflects, is not to be found in these trappings of power. His power came with his ability to join us in our poverty. His wisdom and strength came in his solidarity with our vulnerability and weakness. And those who have not become strangers to the poor, see this and find a savior on Christmas Day.
This year, for us Filipinos, our Christmas will be worth celebrating, despite its apparent somber mood, because we find ourselves in deeper solidarity with the vulnerabilities of those among us who have experienced tragedy and loss. Our solidarity with our suffering brethren has transformed our celebration of Christmas from a time of merry-making to an exaltation of our finest and most noble traits as a people. And for those who look with their heart, there is cause for much rejoicing.
May this simple celebration of Christmas open our hearts to all that truly matters. When we welcome those we love and those whom we find difficult to love, may Jesus, God’s compassion and forgiveness made flesh, penetrate our hearts and life there forever.
You challenge the powers that rule this world
Through the needy, the compassionate
And those who are filled with longing.
Make us hunger and thirst to see
Justice, right and solidarity prevail;
That we may see your face
And behold your peace
Through Jesus Christ. Amen.
—Morely, J. (1992). All Desires Known.