Christmas is a day of great joy, one in which the poor and lowly of the world are lifted up and become heirs of the Kingdom of Heaven.
Series: Faith in the Family
The Catechism for Filipino Catholics (CFC) describes the Filipino faith as family-oriented. It is in the family that Filipinos draw their identity, strength, security and even their future. The young are introduced to religious traditions and cultural values at home.
Parenting entails joys and challenges. A common concern for Christian parents who have to work on those two-fold factors — how to bring up their children religiously (instilling the gift of faith) and civilly (to be good and responsible citizens) — is a herculean task.
The Advent season reminds us of Mary and Joseph’s journey to Bethlehem, and of our own personal journeys to become more like Jesus Christ, our own Bethlehem.
Christmas in Ethiopia is a day of joy because of the wonder that God is coming to share in our human nature in the bosom of the Virgin Mary, a creature like us. It starts November 15 and is celebrated constantly until January 7.
Nowhere else in the world can you witness Christmas celebrations lasting longer than in the Philippines. It starts in September and ends with the Epiphany. Simbang Gabi (“night masses” in December) is one of the main features of the season.
In Indonesia, with its mainly Muslim population, seminaries are overcrowded with candidates. On the island of Flores lies the world’s largest seminary. More than 1,000 students study at Ledalero, and at least 600 of them are candidates for the priesthood.
Do we truly understand who Jesus is to us, and why we have Christmas in the first place? We celebrate it every year, but does it have a personal impact on us or is it just a mechanical annual occasion for merrymaking, even perhaps a time for rushing and traffic jams?
Chrisma Bangaoil is a committed lay missionary for whom the mission is a lifestyle and part of her DNA. “When I am not in the mission, I am teaching or working,” she told World Mission. Her zeal for the mission was nurtured by her parents and siblings since she was young.
Persecution in different forms are part of our lives as Christians. However, we should not let this deter us in following the path of Jesus Christ, who was also persecuted for our sake.