December 25, Sunday, the Nativity of the Lord (Christmas)
Sunday Readings: 1st Reading – Isaiah 52:7-10; Responsorial Psalm – Psalms 98:1, 2-3, 3-4, 5-6; 2nd Reading – Hebrews 1:1-6; Gospel – John 1:1-18
The long wait has come. The word became flesh and dwelt among us. The joy of knowing that the Messiah has arrived in our world cannot be measured.
In the first reading, the good news of mankind's salvation is shared, and the whole world rejoices and acknowledges that God is in charge of everything.
The responsorial psalm witnessed the saving power of God.
The second reading, on the other hand, discusses the acceptance of the Son of God and his worship by all mankind. While the gospel emphasizes the fulfillment of the word—that the Savior has arrived on earth.
Christmas Day is one of the most joyous days of the year. This is the day that most people are waiting for, the coming of the Savior. How did we prepare for the coming of our Savior? In a Catholic tradition, people attend the nine days of Dawn Novena Masses and try to complete them, believing that God will fulfill their wishes. Many churches begin an Advent Recollection for their congregations. Most of the priests and elders encouraged people to have a sacrament of reconciliation. All of these are the spiritual aspects of the preparation of a Catholic individual.
In general, the Christmas season is the busiest time of year in the Philippines, and it also lasts the longest. As soon as September comes, you will hear Christmas carols in the air, and when you go to the shopping mall, Christmas decorations are everywhere. People from all walks of life decorate their homes, offices, churches, and even their automobiles. Everywhere, you can smell the spirit of Christmas. If you are observant enough during this time of the year, you will notice that people are joyful, kind, and generous, and many are preparing gifts for their loved ones, dear friends, and relatives. This is also the time of year for the reunion of families and friends. People also prepare delicious food for their tables.
Children are excited to open their gifts on Christmas, and sometimes they even lose their patience and secretly open the gifts that are put under the Christmas tree.
You see, all people are merry and happy because of the parties and reunions they attended, the new dresses and shoes that they wear, and the gifts, and bonuses they received.
Does this joyful and lively life during this season also recognize the true meaning of why we need to celebrate? Do we celebrate because we remember that God fulfilled his promise of salvation? The birth of Jesus is the fulfillment of his promise, “And the word was made flesh." We should be thankful to God for this gift—the gift of sending His Son to redeem the world. You see, God is the one who initiates giving gifts to all of mankind. That is why giving gifts during Christmas is one of the most significant highlights of this season. We didn't realize it at the time, but we looked to God for inspiration when it came to giving this gift at Christmas. I’m sure God is very happy to witness people who share their blessings with others, especially the least fortunate ones. It doesn't matter how much the gift costs; what matters is the thought.
Lord, we thank you for your gift of salvation in sending your precious Son to be your presence to all mankind. As we celebrate the birth of your son, may we recognize the true meaning of Christmas. Allow our hearts to rejoice at the arrival of your Son, and teach our hearts to be as generous as you, to share our blessings with others during this season of love by preparing precious gifts for our loved ones and friends.
Radio Veritas Asia (RVA), a media platform of the Catholic Church, aims to share Christ. RVA started in 1969 as a continental Catholic radio station to serve Asian countries in their respective local language, thus earning the tag “the Voice of Asian Christianity.” Responding to the emerging context, RVA embraced media platforms to connect with the global Asian audience via its 21 language websites and various social media platforms.