Christmas Message from the Provincial Superior, Fr. Orville Cajigal, RCJ
Sickness affects a big number of people…Unemployment increases exponentially… A lot of people plunge deeper below poverty line, falling short of addressing the basic needs of people especially the poor… the alarming tendency towards the normalization of killing people…obvious connection between governance and the suffering of the people, especially the poor.
Amidst these trends, what is the response of God in the season of Christmas? HIS PRESENCE AMONG US (Mt. 1:23). God has not left us! He is always with us regardless of the situation we are in (Mt. 28:20). Jesus Christ, the “Emmanuel,” is the concrete presence of God in our midst. He is the light (Jn. 8:12) that transforms our situation. He brings “joy and great rejoicing,” freedom from oppression, liberation from war or violence, and an experience of justice and peace (Is. 9:2-6). His Presence provides us life-blessings that make us live in a state of grace, where there is no evil. God’s Presence embraces our presence in unity.
The Presence of Jesus Christ shines the goodness in us who believe and accept His sovereignty in our lives. He sustains the fire of love within us, which enables us to reach out to others and participate in transforming this world to a world of love, faith, justice, and peace (Is. 9:6). His Presence engages us to share to our needy brothers and sisters so that they will experience joy brought about by being one with them. He gives strength and perseverance to go against all forms of evil. Jesus Christ, as the incarnation of God’s Love for humanity, penetrates each of us, which leaves no room for evil and division among us.
For this Christmas, Jesus Christ opens avenues of renewal of our relationship with Him, which overwhelms us with His love. Our prayer life, especially the Sacraments of the Eucharist and Reconciliation, are moments of renewal and transformation.
God’s Love, which we receive, empowers us to unite together in order to make this world a God-centered, humane, and just world.
Christmas is an invitation for unity to brighten others’ lives, and through good work, dispel the darkness in the “land of gloom…” (Is. 9:1).
Not anymore because we have Jesus Christ (Mt. 28:20)
A blessed Christmas to all.
1 - Cf. Swept away – Philippine agriculture bears wrath from government neglect – IBON Foundation; Gov’t priorities enrich a few and destroy the environment–IBON – IBON Foundation; Dealing with COVID-19: Just reboot the economy? – IBON Foundation. See last December 22, 2020 at 8:44p.m.