The ‘little baby boy’ in the manger today

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By Gingging Avellanosa-Valle

Bahin sang Bubay

Friday, December 27, 2013

WHENEVER thought of turning something really deplorable into a much anticipated "happy" so-called family time of the year must be a genius at cover up.

If we take Jesus' life story truthfully and seriously, we will understand how unjust his Roman society was to him and his people even way back before his mother Mary realized she was conceiving. But why do Christians do not seem to take this matter to heart, and instead, focused on merry making, splurging every single cent he/she earns for the whole year on things that are not even necessary to his/her survival?

Why have we, so-called Catholics feel like we SHOULD be merry during this time of commemorating a sad reality, rather than learning from it, and making every effort to advocate what Jesus had to suffer for from womb to tomb?

The manger in itself is a very strong symbol that should make every Christian cringe with shame. While it is true that it may be God's way of showing the simplicity of the nativity to symbolize the magnanimity of God's love, it also symbolize the insatiable greed and lust for power of the early Roman Empire and those at the helm of government, which is still true today.

It was an abode unfit for humans, but the Roman oppression was such that Jesus' parents had to undergo the pain of rejection, as they tried to survive their harsh situation. And to think that the ruling elite during Jesus' time include the high priests who were intimidated by the simplicity of his preaching.

The pitiful situation of the victims of calamities today where many among our mga kapatid are undergoing a difficult time trying to survive drew us nearer to Jesus' reality. But sadly, and again, many of our compatriots, especially our national leaders are missing the point.

Instead of doing every effort to give back to the people what they needed, government officials have become like Pontius Pilate in Jesus' time, washing their hands off responsibility to give back to those who have lost everything in the wake of the calamity.

One thing that I have learned to be true in life is the adage that goes like: "the more you give, the more you receive." When you think of helping and it's not for the "good feel", but because you genuinely feel compassion in its truest sense, for your fellows, without expecting something in return, then it becomes something that is meaningful.

As more and more poor people in our society are becoming destitute and “squatters” in their own land, who are now becoming homeless, jobless and uncertain of their future, it has become apparent that the “authorities” are becoming inutile, cooking up every possible reason for them not to assist the people whom they owe their allegiance to.

That's why, each Christmas season brings forth not merriment to me but a deep sadness. Most of us too are missing the point why we are commemorating the birth of Jesus, the greatest teacher that this crazy world had been gifted with. Most of the people would rather forget or gloss over the above-mentioned facts and indulge in the lunacy of it all.

This is not dousing cold water into the meaningless exercise that we do year after year. It has become obligatory such that once done, it is back to "business." But it's never too late to really find the real essence of Christmas. It has been said over and over again, that selfless giving of oneself is the only answer the problems of this world. But this is never going to be easy at all, for many.

However for some, and these are the ones who are really out there to make a difference to the suffering masses, giving themselves in service to those who did not ask for it, is the real meaning of the season.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on December 28, 2013.


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