Oscar M. Lopez
Christmas approaches and everybody can feel the rush of the longest holiday in the Philippines. After all, our country probably has the longest Christmas season in the world.
The Catholic Church designates the Christmas season from the first Sunday of Advent (late November) to the feast of the Epiphany (Sunday after New Year’s Day). But we and our fellow Filipinos are so infused with the fiesta spirit that Christmas carols play on the radio from September, obviously the first of the months ending in -ber, all the way to the feast of the Holy Child (third Sunday of January).
Not even the rather solemn commemoration of All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day in November could temper the excitement brought about by the most anticipated holiday.
Let us use this time to reflect on the wonders of Christmas.
First is that it is Christ approaching. The reason for the season is the birth of our Savior. Let us respond with gratitude and with love to Christ who seeks us out in this world, for our own good and for the good of our fellowmen.
Second is that it does not take much to make Christ happy. For His birthday, we need not go far and wide to find the most expensive gifts. Visiting a sick friend, or perhaps your parents or grandparents, would be enough for the Lord. Forgiving oneself and one’s neighbor for past mistakes and hurts would go a long way in fostering peace and harmony during this season of cheer. Finally, it does not take much to make ourselves happy. A hug from a loved one, a smile from a stranger, a little courtesy on the road…every little bit of kindness can be easily appreciated by one who is himself courteous, friendly and expressive of the good that is in him. These are the wonders of Christmas that we will only be able to see by being self-aware and by recognizing that we must share with those around us all the good that comes with having Christ in our lives.
I wish everyone a joyous Christmas and a prosperous New Year!
Oscar M. Lopez - Chairman Emeritus, Lopez Group