“EXPERIENCING THE FIRST CHRISTMAS: PARKING PROBLEM”My wife and I went to church earlier for Christmas Eve Mass Thirty Minutes before the Scheduled Mass time. I thought we were still early but Lo and Behold, there was already traffic as we approached the church. I dropped my wife off first then went looking fo parking in the church courtyard. Finding parking was a bit of a challenge. I had to drive around three times before I was finally able to find a parking spot (which even then I had to use some “creativity”).
“ONE GRUMPY PARISHIONER”After parking our car, I proceeded inside the church and looked for my wife. The church was already jam-packed with parishioners. This time, finding seats for my wife and I became the next challenge. I looked around the church in search of my wife. Finally, I saw where she was seated: second row, centre aisle. I then proceeded to sit beside her. Space was kind of “tight” because the church was full and everyone was trying to “squeeze in” in whatever space they can. The lady to my left was complicating the situation with her grumpy behaviour, in addition to putting her jacket in the space available to her left, depriving others of a seat as well.
But WHAT IS THE RELEVANCE OF the “PARKING” SITUATION as well as the “GRUMPY” parishioner to Christmas and to the the REAL MEANING of Christmas?
Well, without me being cognizant about it then, I realized as our Parish Priest was delivering the Homily that I just actually “experienced” the FIRST Christmas itself. The situation where I was driving around and around earlier looking for parking space and my search for seats inside the church was reminiscent of the time when Mother Mary and St. Joseph were being bounced around from one inn to another before finally settling for a manger because there was NO ROOM nor space for them in the inn.
The Priest also stated: “It’s that time of year again. December has come and with it all the joys of Christmas. But what is the real meaning of Christmas? Is it the gifts under the tree, the lights in the windows, the cards in the mail, turkey dinners with family and friends, snow in the yard, stockings hanging in the living room, and shouts of “Merry Christmas” to those who pass us in the streets? Is this really Christmas?”
“For many people, Christmas is a time of sorrow. They don’t have the EXTRA MONEY to buy presents for their children, family, and friends. Many are saddened at Christmastime when they think of their loved ones who will not be able to come home for various reasons. Turkey dinners may be only a wish and not a reality for some.
Yet, Christmas can be a season of great joy. It is a time of God showing His great love for us. It can be a time of healing and renewed strength. You see, Christmas is when we celebrate the birth of the Christ child. God sent His Son, Jesus, into the world to be born. His birth brought great joy to the world. Shepherds, wise men, and angels all SHARED in the excitement of knowing about this great event. They knew this was no ordinary baby. The prophets had told of His coming hundreds of years before. The star stopped over Bethlehem just to mark the way for those who were looking for this special child.
Why did He come? Why did God send His son to this sometimes cruel and hard world? He sent Jesus to us so that one day, He would grow up to become a very important part of history. His story (history) is one of truth, love, and hope. It brought salvation to all of us. Without Jesus, we would all die for our sins.
Jesus was born so one day the price could be paid for our wrongdoing. The Bible says that all have sinned. We are all born with a sinful nature. We do things that do not please God. Through the sins of Adam and Eve, we have all inherited that sinful nature. We need to have that removed. The only way is through Jesus. Jesus came so He could die on the cross for ALL of our sins. If we believe that Jesus died for our sins, we can ask Him to come into our hearts and forgive us. Then, we are clean and made whole. We can know that Heaven is a place where we can go to when this life is over.
Look at Christmas in a new way this year. This is the year to invite Jesus into your heart. CHRISTMAS is not about opening our presents. IT IS ABOUT OPENING OUR HEARTS TO CHRIST’s LOVE. During the FIRST CHRISTMAS, there was NO room for the Holy Family at the Inn. This time around, let’s OPEN the rooms in our hearts to CHRIST’s love.
You will then have a “Merry Christmas”. The joy and peace you will receive will last all year as you look to God for all your needs to be met.
Jesus Is The Reason For The Season! Rejoice!
“I WISH WE CARRY WITH US THE CHRISTMAS SPIRIT ALL YEAR ROUND!”
I went to church tonight for the Christmas Eve Mass and arrived an hour early (because I am proclaiming the Second Reading: St. Paul’s Letter to Titus). However, the church was nearly full already by that time. I noticed that everybody was nice, cheerful, polite and helpful to each other. “Wow!” I said to myself. Wouldn’t it be nice if people celebrate the Spirit of Christmas every day instead of only on December 24 & 25?
Every day is and should always be Christmas Day!
During Christmas, people spread joy and happiness; greet each other with a Big Smile; are kind and tolerant; patient; generous; peace-loving; Selfless and considerate; compassionate; and most of all, loving to one another! This is what I observe the most during Christmas.
Now, what if we start adopting the mindset that every day is Christmas Day? Yes, why don’t we think that way? We can do it, folks! Let’s just do it! The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. A world of peace and happiness begins with a single person and a random act of kindness! Let’s start TODAY! And do it EVERY DAY! Then, every day will be like CHRISTmas!
Helping others doesn’t just give your life meaning — it gives your suffering meaning.”
Here’s a very good idea of what we can do from now on: Let’s buy Christmas presents from small local businesses and self-employed individuals. Let’s make sure our dollars go to our local businesspeople and NOT multinational companies. This way, more LOCALS will have a better Christmas. God bless all!
JESUS IS THE REASON FOR THE SEASON – Without CHRIST, there is NO CHRISTMAS!
My wife Baida and I wish all of you my dear family, relatives, U.P. Vanguard Brods & Sis, classmates and dear friends and your respective families the Message of CHRISTMAS: LOVE, GENEROSITY, PEACE & HOPE. A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS & A HAPPIER & MORE PROSPEROUS 2020 TO YOU ALL! THE BEST OF THE BEST IS YET TO COME! GOD BLESS US ALL!!!