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The essence of Christmas

Yuletide 2018 may not be any different from previous celebrations—with the increasingly getting bigger lanterns and Christmas trees as well as huge mangers with the season’s colors supposedly reflecting the birth anniversary of the most important person in Christian history.

The essence of Christmas

In the runup to the date laureate, shops and malls in Metro Manila and other highly urbanized areas compete with each other on extremely impressive displays of available gifts and other presents to mark the momentous event.

For the well-heeled, the song “Joy to the World” breathes a consequential meaning, with sumptuous meals in posh restaurants, overnight stays in star hotels, or perhaps a quick refreshing vacation off the city jungle.

Those in the lower rungs are at peace with spending the hours with family members, animated by exchanges of anecdotes from the expanding clan that has different generations and persuasions, including calling and discipline.

Opening gifts under blinking Christmas trees at the receiving rooms shortly after Midnight Mass on the 24th, a liturgical tradition in the Roman Catholic Church, Anglican Communion, and the Lutheran Churches, or before the midnight repast has become ineradicable in the culture of predominantly Christian Philippines, which received the Cross in the 16th century.

The Mass is and has been the central act of worship in the Catholic Church, which describes it as “the source and summit of the Christian life.”

We agree with observers who suggest the true essence of Christmas relies not on the wrapped gifts under the Christmas trees, which command people to spend more and more from their limited resources, given the distressing bite of recession.

We endorse their line the essence of Christmas must depend on love and unity which we must continue to build, holding fast to the Lord’s new commandment in John 13:34: “Love one another. As I have loved you, so also you must love one another.”

An essential Christmas to all persons of goodwill.

Topics: Christmas , Metro Manila , Joy to the World , Roman Catholic Church , Anglican Communion , Lutheran Churches , Midnight Mass
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