Alexa

Rejoice for Christ is here!

Rejoice for Christ is here!

December 23, 2007 is the Fourth Sunday of Advent. "Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to all" (Luke 2:14).
Gospel: In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that the whole world should be enrolled. This was the first enrollment, when Quirinius was governor of Syria. So all went to be enrolled, each to his own town. And Joseph too went up from Galilee from the town of Nazareth to Judea, to the city of David that is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David, to be enrolled with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. While they were there, the time came for her to have her child, and she gave birth to her firstborn son. She wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
Now there were shepherds in that region living in the fields and keeping the night watch over their flock. The angel of the Lord appeared to them and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were struck with great fear. The angel said to them, "Do not be afraid; for behold, I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For today in the city of David a savior has been born for you who is Christ and Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find an infant wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger." And suddenly there was a multitude of the heavenly host with the angel, praising God and saying: "Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests."
When the angels went away from them to heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let us go, then, to Bethlehem to see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us." So they went in haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the infant lying in the manger. When they saw this, they made known the message that had been told them about this child. All who heard it were amazed by what had been told them by the shepherds. And Mary kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart. Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, just as it had been told to them. (Gospel: Luke 2:1-20).
The Gospel narrates the Nativity of the Lord Jesus Christ and God's grace has been revealed to us in the birth of the Messiah.
Thomas Merton, the Trappist monk expressed the meaning of Christmas in this way: "Into this world, this demented inn, in which there is absolutely no room for him at all, Christ has come uninvited. But because he cannot be at home in it, because he is out of place in it, and yet he must be in it, his place is with those others for whom there is no room. His place is with those who do not belong, who are rejected by power because they are regarded as weak, those who are discredited, who are denied the status of persons, tortured, excommunicated. With those for whom there is no room, Christ is present in this world."
Many migrants can relate to the words of Merton especially those who are rejected and denied of their basic rights by just being a migrant.
Christmas is the story of a family displaced from their home. There was no room in the inn and Jesus was born in the manger in the messiness of life, rejection and poverty. The "manger" is the place where the animals come to eat. Luke emphasizes throughout his gospel the importance of "food" in Jesus' ministry. The shepherds found Jesus in the manger - an eating place.
I often receive similar text messages from parents.
"Good evening Father. I am working here in Taiwan as a caregiver. I will soon complete my second-year contract. Please pray for me so that my employer would extend my contract. I have four children and I need to work to support them." - Fe of Taipei
Migrants are the new displaced family. Migrants leave home so that their children will have something to eat. The family we left behind will spend another night of Christmas hoping and praying that their father or mother will come home and the family can spend the "Noche Buena" together. Let us pray that our children do not wait too long for us to come home.
In this season of joy and hope, we wish you and your family Merry Christmas!
We join His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI, on his prayers and Christmas wish. "May the prayer of the Church leading up to Christmas intensify, so that the hopes for peace, salvation, justice, and all that the world urgently needs, be made a reality. We ask God that violence be defeated by the power of love, that opposition be replaced by reconciliation, that the desire to dominate be transformed into desires for forgiveness, justice and peace.
May peace live in all families and may they spend Christmas united before the crib and the tree decorated with lights. May the Christmas message of solidarity and welcome contribute to create a deeper sensibility toward old and new types of poverty, and toward the common good that we are all called to share. May all family members, especially the children and the elderly - the weakest ones - feel the warmth of this feast, and may that warmth spread out through every day of the year.
May Christmas be a celebration of peace and joy: Joy for the birth of the Savior, Prince of peace. Like the shepherds, we hasten our steps toward Bethlehem. In the heart of the Holy Night we will be able to contemplate the 'infant wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger,' together with Mary and Joseph (Luke 2:12 -16). May Mary, who gave her virginal womb to the Word of God, who contemplated the child between her arms, and who offers him to everyone as the Redeemer of the world, help us make next Christmas a moment of growth in the knowledge and love of Christ."
Text messages
"Helo Fader Joy. Nagpa2salamat po ako. Damang dama ko ang sagot ni Lord sa aking mga panalangin. Salamat po sa inyong suporta. Please continue to pray for me." - Nimar


Updated : 2020-12-02 15:46 GMT+08:00