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Thursday, August 05, 2021

Pacete: Interpreting symbols in Christmas

IN OUR religion, Christmas is a liturgical event that commemorates the birth of Jesus Christ, the son of God. This is one event that reminds us that we should not be greedy. We have to forgive and reconcile. The celebrator here is Christ and he wants us to be like him … or at least follow his footsteps.

The Christian’s celebration of Christmas as the birthday of Christ was taken from Roman’s celebration of their sun god, Mithra, on December 25.

The Egyptian winter solstice of the birth of Osiris became the Christian Epiphany. This day is celebrated as the divine representation of masculine fertility of January sixth. The Church considered it to be the day signifying the Lord’s divinity.

The Christian candle mass was also adopted from the pagan festival in honor of feminize faces of the divinity of Brigit and Venus, the goddesses of art, poetry, healing, fire and wisdom. This was later changed into the 40-day period of purification of Virgin Mary after giving birth.

Christ was not born in winter. It was not December when the shepherds in the meadow tending their flock were told by angels that the Son of God was born. This could be fantastic to be true but we feel good about it.

That could be the reason why children believe in Santa Claus and expect that their hanging socks will be filled in with gifts by the three kings.

We cannot fully understand but we enjoy Christmas. If we could not explain it … then it could be miracle or faith. We believe that a firm belief is something magical. Faith is our firm belief in something for which there is no evidence. When there is evidence, no one speaks of faith. This could be funny at times. We are told that faith could move mountains … no one believes. We are told that atomic bomb can remove mountains … everyone believes!

Christmas could be like that. There is religiosity and commercialism. For religious practice, we remain faithful to our nine-morning dawn masses.

We bring salad to the home for the aged and we send ham to prisoners. We have a nativity corner in our house. We donate lechon to the parish Christmas party. We empty our coin purse for the beggars in platoon formation outside the church after the mass.

Commercialism is associated with socio-physical activities. We put on new clothes for us and for our children. We wrap gifts for friends and relatives. For those who have more money, they host extravagant Christmas parties to enjoy too much eating, too much drinking, too much dancing. Those who can afford, transform their houses to Disneyland.

There is nothing wrong with that. Christmas is happiness. Everybody loves Christmas. Happiness is liking what you do as well as doing what you like. A man’s happiness is not consistent. It could be the interval between periods of unhappiness. My Christmas happiness lies in the taste, and not in the things; and it is from having what I have done, not from having what others think desirable.

Going to mass to savor Baby Jesus is good, but it is best to go home after attending the mass as a transformed person the rest of your life … not shouting at the maids, not kicking the driver, giving legal salary to the workers, paying your taxes on time, and not cheating on your wife. If that happens to you, Christmas is a miracle.

For politicians, Christmas is a time for renewal. He can pardon the mistake of his defeated opponent … and his own, too. There should be the forgiveness of sin and the redemption of ignorance. Without forgiveness life is governed by an endless cycle of resentment and retaliation. The Ombudsman knows that.

Christmas is kindness. We want to offer ourselves and resources to others. I hope it is not a show to last until the last day of December only. Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love. That could be the reason why our local and national officials make “bonuses” available during Christmas season. Some “bonuses” for December 2018 have been withdrawn already from friendly “loan sharks.”

Christmas is peace. Peace is the absence of violence. We pray for peace … that President Digong will put peace in his mouth, in his heart, and his supporters will stop pushing him to become a revolutionary. A peaceful revolution is still a revolution, and when that peaceful revolution goes out of control … it will make violent revolution inevitable.

Christmas is a symbol. Make it a symbol for understanding, cooperation and happy living … together! Cheers!
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