Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas 2011--and a disappointment at the Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church in Project 6, Quezon City

Merry Christmas to all! Hope you enjoy celebrating this big day with your loved ones. And also with other people who may need cheering up on Christmas Day.

And let's always remember that on Christmas we celebrate the birthday of Jesus. Christmas isn't really all about the nice trimmings and the fabulous gifts, the great food and fantastic parties. Christmas is a level playing field for the rich, the not-so-rich, and the poor. We're all meant to celebrate the big day of the Big Boss, the One who choose to be born in a simple manger despite His stature, whatever is our status in life. It's as if to say, hey, material things, especially an extravagance of material things, don't make a Christmas celebration. All we need is LOVE. :)

Sometimes, it makes me a bit sad that people seem to be so caught up on all the stressful external preparation for Christmas that we forget the internal preparation of ourselves for the celebration of His birthday. Perhaps, there may be even times that we forget for whom Christmas is really.

This afternoon, I went to Christmas Mass at the Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church in Project 6, Quezon City, Philippines. After the priest gave the final blessing to the Mass goers, the choir sang "Happy Birthday" for, of course, Jesus's birthday. I was greatly shocked when my fellow Mass goers didn't stop from leaving the pews to go home while the choir sang the birthday song. Only a handful of us remained in our pews to sing along, in honor of Jesus. Maybe just two or three of us? And it is a big church, mind you.

I'm now trying to ask myself why most of the people in the church this afternoon didn't even stop to sing along with the birthday song. They weren't even singing as they walked along the aisle to the church's door on their way out. Did they think that the choir was singing the birthday song for someone celebrating his or her birthday from among the choir or maybe from among the Mass goers this afternoon? Hence, maybe they thought they didn't have to stop to sing "Happy Birthday" for that person because they didn't know him or her anyway? Or, maybe, they had forgotten that Christmas is Christmas because it's Jesus's birthday, thus they failed to realize that the choir's birthday song was FOR Him. Or, perhaps, those people were hurrying to go to their next Christmas party, thus they had to hurriedly get out of the church. No time any birthday song, sorry. Indeed, has Christmas for those people in the church this afternoon them become a mere ritual, or perhaps an excuse to go on a partying binge and exchange gifts throughout the season?

But I would like to give the benefit of the doubt to my fellow Mass goers at this afternoon's Mass. I still hope that perhaps that my fellow Mass goers at church today only had a temporary lapse when they didn't join in singing the birthday song for Jesus. I hope that deep in their hearts, they still know what Christmas is all about.

Happy Birthday, Jesus! :)

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