Christmas-A A +A
Tuesday, December 17, 2013
LAST Sunday, we were told in church that we were on our third Sunday of Advent, which to most of the people of the globe, particularly the Christians, signifies the start of the season that celebrates the coming, or the birth, of Christ.
Thus, the Catholics who are the keenest believers of the Catholic faith held the first Misa de Gallo or the mass at dawn as the first of nine-day masses held “as the cock crows.” It is like a feast of heavy snacks, as “practiced today” after the mass.
At any rate, Time Magazine, an American publication that is known and respected all over the world, chose Pope Francis as its Man of the Year.
He is the first prelate picked by the conclave in the Vatican from South America. He replaced German Pope Benedict XVI, who resigned for personal reasons. The new pope, who hails from Buenos Aires, is known for his humble and simple ways. He took a bus to go to work.
This choice of Time is significant in that it means that, this year Catholicism or Christianity has asserted the religion’s importance to the moral and cultural life of the population of the globe.
While people’s belief in the power beyond ourselves may have taken different trails and paths, yet the belief all take to similar supernatural power and cotton to the celebration of Christmas, even if its common denominator has now been narrowed to the commerce of man.
Well, I might be wrong with my conjecture that the popularity of Christmas has become a global business and a dynamic engine of commerce around the world that does not really cut across religious boundaries anywhere, even in heavily Muslim countries.
Christmas, indeed, said a corporate executive friend from the university, is celebrated now in a way that has become nothing short of universal since the foundation of its beginning has been overcome by human commercialism.
When I was just a kid, I was told by my teacher-parents that I should hang stockings near the door for Santa Claus to put his gifts for me in. They told me that Santa was always giving gifts on Christmas eve to the children who were good and obedient during the year, but sometimes forgot to do so when one has been bad.
It was my first impression of the season, a touch of fiction and reality, of legend and business.
Many years later, when I became a father, then grandfather, and now a great-grandfather, the tradition goes on, an exciting tale of life and faith that binds the inhabitants of Planet Earth into one universal population, a global humanity celebrating a common belief of one Creator, one maker of all things that includes a wonderful thing that moves in space, that goes round every so many hundred days and nights around a fiercely burning sun that is in itself, a source of life.
Yes, it is Advent again, a celebration of the beauty of life and perpetual creation.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on December 17, 2013.