MANILA, Dec. 21, 2013—With the string of calamities that struck the country, Christmas celebration this year should be a Christmas of solidarity and communion, a high ranking prelate said.
For many it may be hard to contemplate how Christmas would be like for the survivors of the Zamboanga crisis, the earthquake in Bohol and super typhoon Yolanda who have lost loved ones and things that would remind them of Christmas, Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Tagle said in a Christmas message.
“With persons and things associated with Christmas either destroyed or gone, what would Christmas be?” he asked.
But he said that question was answered for him by a lady from Palo, a survivor herself who said, “With the ruins around us, this would probably be the first time I would understand and celebrate the true meaning of Christmas.”
Though the answer may appear mysterious, but hearing such from the lips a survivor, “it must contain truth and wisdom,” Tagle said.
He noted that the lady’s insight points to the central sign of Christmas, which is Jesus: “the humble baby in the manger who is truly the Son of God, God with us.”
All the Christmas decorations we put up and the celebrations we have, he said, “must be rooted in and draw their meaning” from Jesus, who is the “core Sign, the humble person of the Son of God who emptied himself to become one of us.”
“Divine glory is seen in a child’s weakness; heavenly radiance is made manifest in humility; and God’s justice is revealed as compassion,” Tagle added.
Even as he called on the faithful not to forget the Christ-child in their celebration of Christmas, he urged everyone to “be transformed into signs of his coming.”
He said acts of solidarity and communion with those who suffered the tragedies will “happen only with serious soul-searching, review of values, reordering of priorities, and commitment to God, neighbour, country and creation.”
“The survivors of recent disasters will teach us how to see the Child promised by God with fresh eyes of faith and hope,” he said.
Tagle ended his message with a prayerful wish of a Blessed Christmas to everyone, “especially Filipinos who are striving to reconstruct their lives and who are far from home.” (CBCPNews)