The Aguinaldo Masses, which are traditionally celebrated by Filipinos at dawn starting December 16, complete the nine-day liturgical preparation for Christmas. Significantly enough, these well-attended celebrations are offered in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary who journeyed in faith for nine months gestating the Word that became flesh. The parallelism of number gives an insight of how every Christian may best prepare for Christmas: gestating the Word received at baptism and finally giving birth to it—which is to say, allowing Christ to incarnate in ones life, just as Mary did.
But Christmas which is perfected in Easter has come to mean a lot of things to a lot of people. For some, it has been too over-stretched to mean anything more serious than commerce and the romanticism of a secular world. One’s reason for the season may just be as good or as bad as anybody’s. Comfortably, the relativism of perceptions and beliefs has become the lingua franca of the present—wrongly or rightly.
Come to think of it, it was in this context that the Christ was born. His flickering light dispelled the prevailing darkness. His simple truth vanquished all the lingering lies. His giving up of himself uprooted the tenacity of selfishness. His self-effacing weakness unseated those who held on to the ramparts of power.
The socio-political realities of the Philippines today have all the makings of a very meaningful Christmas. There stands a president whose credibility is being eroded as fast and as determined as the miners and loggers pillage the environment. There sit both the houses of congress that sadly looks emasculated by the strength and scheming of the Executive. There lay government programs fished out from the remains of corruption and futility.
And here we are yawning and watching the world go by like guilty bystanders. Do have a merry and exciting Christmas!