The Gift: Christmas

Dec 31, 2016 | [post_view] Views


Indeed December 25th is a much awaited day for many. Blinking bright lights, colorful lanterns, joyful songs, and cold breeze are just some of the signs that Christmas is around the corner.

By tradition, we believe that Jesus was born on the 25th of December. Though no date was mentioned in the Scriptures as to when Jesus was born, the Church assigned this date to celebrate Christ`s birth. An early Christian tradition accounts that March 25th was the day when Mary was told by the angel that she will conceive a child-Annunciation. Nine months after March 25th is the 25th of December.

For us Filipinos, Christmas is also a time to gather as a family, time for vacation, a time to prepare palatable foods, and a time to receive presents and gifts. Christmas may present visible customs and signs but one should also look into the deeper meaning of the celebration beyond the externals. Amidst wealth and indulgences on gifts, is the humility and simplicity of the stable, amidst crowded shopping malls is the stillness and quietness of Bethlehem, and amidst the noise of the spirit of parties is the seriousness of the incarnation.

In the Church, the birth of Jesus is God`s expression of His great love for man. This great solemnity shows the world that the Word incarnate, the Savior of mankind, is finally born–a vivid illustration of God`s unending love for all. This unending love is a real event that happend 2000 years ago. The purpose of the Christmas feast is beautifully expressed in the Preface of the Nativity of the Lord: “For on the feast of this awe-filled mystery, though invisible in His own divine nature, He has appeared visibly in ours; and begotten for all ages, He has begun to exist in time; so that, raising up in Himself all that was cast down, He might restore unity to all creation and call straying humanity back to the heavenly Kingdom.”

Beyond any other gifts that we have received, is the greatest gift that is given to us wrapped not with gliterring fancy papers but in swaddling clothes.

Written by:
Br. Mark Divine B. Pangilinan, SSS
Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament – Cagayan de Oro Community