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Christmas comes, Christmas goes: What is it to us? (Full Text)

Bishop Piong

WE will soon be celebrating Christmas. Why are we joyful during the Season of Christmas? Of course, each of us have a reason to be joyful at Christmas time. It might be because of the opportunity to meet and gather as a family, or because the atmosphere around us is filled with festive signs – Christmas songs echoing their joyous strains, Christmas decorations, Christmas gifts, etc.

Are these reasons enough to celebrate Christmas? No wonder someone dares to say “Krismas datang, Krismas berlalu”, “Christmas comes, Christmas goes”, without impacting us spiritually.

We are grateful for the Season of Advent to prepare personally and communally in the parish communities before Christmas comes around.

In fact, Christmas is a very important celebration of God’s relationship with us, with humanity as a whole, and with all God’s Creation. The greatest and most glorious reason we celebrate Christmas is to acknowledge and appreciate the Love of God that is revealed through the Incarnation.

To help us to reflect and appreciate the meaning of Christmas throughout Advent, the following passages can be used:

a) “At various times in the past and in various different ways, God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets; but in our own time, the last days, he has spoken to us through his Son.” (Heb 1:1-2)

b) “Yes, God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not be lost but may have eternal life. For God sent his Son into the world not to condemn the world, but so that through him the world might be saved. (Jn 3:16-17)

c) “The Word was made flesh, he lived among us (Jn 1:14)

When we acknowledge God’s plan of salvation for us, we will certainly be able to celebrate Christmas not only externally, but also to see it as an opportunity to renew and strengthen, in Jesus Christ, ourselves, our families and our communities.

How wonderful is God’s plan for us. Through Jesus, God reveals His union, faithfulness and closeness to us. We should really ask ourselves prior to Christmas “How should I respond to this Love of God so that I may be a channel of this Love for humanity and His Creation?”

Recalling the recent celebration of the Extraordinary Mission Year, and its theme “Baptised and Sent”, our mission. as disciples of Jesus, is really to share Jesus and touch the life of others through our sharing of the Good News and through the offering of communal service.

What we see in the world today is frightening, which can be concluded in three ways:

a) God is increasingly excluded from human life because of the attraction and influence of materialism and hedonism. We do not have time for God. Therefore, we are no longer aware of the presence of God in humanity and in his creation. As a result, various crimes occur – abuse of power, rape, fraud, murder, etc. Our mission is to put Jesus first in our daily life.

b) The human heart does not hold Jesus as Lord. As a result, the human heart and mind are increasingly clouded by sin which only promotes selfishness, indifference to one another and irresponsibility to the harmony of God’s Creation that needs our attention today. Our mission is to bring Jesus into our daily life.

c) The Word of God is increasingly not used to provide light to guide and illuminate human thoughts, words and actions. As a result, human use only their human capacities and produce evil crimes (Gal 5:19-21). Our mission is to lead a life guided by the Holy Spirit (Gal 5:22).

Let us use this Season of Advent to make personal preparation, while at the same time to put Jesus first, who is the expression of God’s Love for us, so that we can continue to build our union with Him (Jn 15:4-5), strive for God’s Kingdom (Mt 6:33), and our life be sanctified by our faithfulness to His Word (Jn 17:17).

Throughout the Season of Advent, let us then remember that Jesus is the only expression of God’s everlasting Love, who is the Source, Reason and Purpose of the Christmas celebration that we are looking so much forward to.

Wishing you a Blessed Advent!

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