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Christmas and blessings

Submitted by: regina
On: 25/12/2009

“And the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us…”

Jn 1: 14.

 

Good Shepherd Sisters from various communities in the Philippines and in Asia, staff, families and friends gathered at the Good Shepherd Chapel in Quezon City for the Mass on Christmas Day, December 25.

Girls from the residence of Euphrasian Community and the babies and caregivers of Heart Mary Villa also attended the celebration of Jesus’ birth.

The Eucharistic celebration was presided by Fr. Victor Sadaya CMF, rector and president of Claret Seminary.  

In his homily, Fr. Sadaya emphasized on being blessed.  He began with the question, “Do we consider ourselves as being blessed?” He continued, “If we do, what does it mean to be blessed? In the story of the Annunciation,  the angel called Mary blessed. Mary believed she was blessed. To be blessed cannot be reduced to just having. To be blessed is an awareness, a conviction, a faith that one is unconditionally loved by God. Then, everyone is blessed, because everyone is loved by God, no matter who we are. The blessed Virgin was convinced that she was blessed and did not keep the blessing to herself. When she learned of her cousin Elizabeth’s being blessed, she hastened to be with her. Two women came together to share the blessing. Elizabeth felt the joy in seeing Mary that even the baby in her womb leapt for joy. Mary brought blessing to Elizabeth and her child. To celebrate Christmas is to recognize that we are so blessed and we are to share these with others.” (Read the full text of the homily.)

A Mass was also held at 10 p.m. on December 24 at the same chapel located at the Good Shepherd Provincialate compound with Fr. Jun Viray SJ, rector of the Loyola House of Studies, as presider.

Fr. Viray shared in his homily a story of a prince who traveled to a far country to find a princess to marry but did not succeed, but who on his way home saw a beautiful woman and fell in love with her, at first sight. The prince offered her marriage. The woman refused to marry him as she was a poor woman unworthy of the prince. And the distance between them was like heaven and earth. The prince left sad and left but one day knocked again on the door of  the woman’s house. He was not immediately recognized by the woman. He was no longer wearing his princely attire but simple clothes as ordinary people do. He was willing to abandon his kingdom so that he could be united with his loved one.

The story he said was told by a philosopher to illustrate the way Jesus abandoned himself to be with us, human beings. (Read full text).

The December 24 evening Mass was celebrated in Filipino while the Christmas Day Mass was in English.

This year’s celebration of Christmas take a special significance following the series of calamities experienced in the country.  The intentions of the novena of Masses leading to Christmas were in solidarity with the poor.  The intentions included the youth, migrant workers, victims of violence, the farmers, labor workers, families,women, ecology and urban poor.

 The Christmas crib with the infant Jesus, his mother Mary and St. Joseph that Filipinos usually depict as sheltered within a “Bahay Kubo”, a traditional Filipino house made of bamboo, nipa and other native plants, was devoid of roof. Sr. Teresa Danganan RGS and Sr. Maureen Catabian RGS said, the absence of the roof and walls was in remembrance of so many Filipinos whose homes were destroyed during the typhoons.


Sr. Cecilia Torres RGS, province leader of the Good Shepherd Sisters in the
Philippines, also thanked families, relatives, benefactors and Good Shepherd communities who gave material and financial resources to help the victims. In the Christmas message, Sr. Cecilia, on behalf of the sisters in the Philippine province, sent warm greetings to missionaries and Good Shepherd family worldwide.

Good Shepherd Sisters from Asian countries like Myanmar, Korea, Thailand and Japan are in the Philippines for theological studies and masteral courses.

After the Christmas Mass, those gathered proceeded to the Good Shepherd Community dining room for meal and games.

 

Maligayang Pasko at Manigong Bagong Taon sa inyojng lahat.

 

View: Photo Gallery - Christmas 2009