Reflection on the Nativity of the Lord

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A Tagalog conversation between Jesus and Sta Claus has been passed around, it narrates:

Jesus= “Alam mo, naiinggit ako sa ‘yo.”  (You know, I envy you.)

Sta Claus= “Bakit naman po?”   (But why?)

Jesus= “Kasi sa Kaarawan ko, ikaw ang inaabangan nila.”  (Because on my birthday, they are waiting for you.)

Sad but true. Many people, especially the young, are of this mentality: Christmas is Sta Claus, not Jesus. Hollywood and Walt Disney have produced so many movies –and very entertaining ones – on Sta Claus, and we Catholics do not even put a Nativity Scene or Belen in our homes. The Christmas tree is well decorated and lighted but no Belen is to be found. The malls have very commercialized decorations. In the late 60s, we as students would go around to see the different large sized Belens put up by big companies: Pepsi Cola, San Miguel, Magnolia, Philam Life, Meralco, etc. They were real spectacles. There was a year, however, when Walt Disney characters were displayed including the monsters. Then we now hear people greet us: “Happy Holidays” no longer “Merry Christmas”; taking out Christ from his own birthday!

Let this Christmas be an occasion for us to put back Jesus into His Birthday. Let us look back into the simple narrative of the Gospels, and be moved by the love of our God. God is the creator and owner of the whole world. He has the right to all the elegant clothes as we see at the Oscars. But he has only swaddling clothes –katsa lang ang damit niya. He has the claim to all the flood lights and camera attention given to actors and actresses, to outstanding basketball players, football heroes, or Formula 1 drivers; yet how does he come at his birth? He was rejected by the inn keepers and other town folks of Bethlehem. He has the right to a palace surrounded by servants and medical personnel, but he chooses a stable and is surrounded by animals and shepherds, the marginalized in Jewish society. He has the right to an elegant cradle or crib covered with linen and warm fabrics, but he chooses a manger. Manger is a trough –a palangana- made of wood, rectangular in shape- where the food for the cattle, especially the donkey, is placed. (“Manger” in Middle English & Anglo-French means “to eat”, giving us a hint of who he is = the Bread of Life.) We are attracted to the beautiful, the elegant –magara-, and the fragrant, but Jesus chooses to be born in a most unattractive place, a stable which is reserved only for animals. God is the owner of silver and gold, but he chooses to be born poor. We love comfort and convenience, but Jesus chooses the barest necessities. Many would choose to deliver their babies in an aircon room, with attending doctors and nurses, but God chooses to be born in an isolated stable with sheep, donkeys and cows around him.

As I look through the papers these days, I notice how they grow thick with advertisements and society pages. Much of fashion is printed, elegant people celebrating Christmas parties, many pages on appliances, drinks and delicacies, new resorts and housing projects, cars, electronics, furniture and jewelries. Our media is insensitive to the fact that majority of Filipinos cannot afford even a decent Noche Buena, much less a house or roof over their heads. Many cannot put on decent clothes to go to Church for Simbang Gabi. Many Filipinos have been left homeless by typhoons. I feel ashamed of how insensitive we have become, of how our government officials continue in their shameful ways; they take from the “Kaban ng Bayan” and spend it in lavish trips abroad, while our OFWs squeeze every dollar to send back to the Philippines to help their families. The actors and actresses are now bashing in the flood lights of the Filipino film festival, without thought of many helpless Filipinos.

Now is the time to go back to the stable of Bethlehem and contemplate the ways of God, so different from the ways of men. Feel the love of God, so rich and yet condescending to our poverty; so deserving of our love, yet rejected by innkeepers and town folks of his own city. Mga Tatay, mga Nanay, look at Joseph and Mary; how they wish they could give Jesus a decent place with enough comfort for his birth, but they had to make do of a stable. What were their thoughts, their feelings knowing that this baby comes from God? They may have been sad, or perplexed that they could not give him any better or more comfortable place. They saw how God humbled himself to become a baby, but still he humbled himself the more by being born in a place like this, deprived of comfort and convenience. We proud and arrogant humans need to learn humility from Bethlehem. We need to learn love and compassion for the less fortunate as we see our God identifying himself with the deprived and the rejected. He comes to give himself to us, let us learn to open our hearts and our hands to the needs of others beginning with the members of our family. God is here giving himself to us, giving his love to us. Let us learn to give of ourselves, to give our love this Christmas –kahit hindi pasko tayo ay magbigayan. God is love, let us be witnesses to this love. Amen.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Fray Dunstan Huberto Decena, OAR

Fray Hubert Dunstan Decena, OAR

Priest/Religious/Bible Professor of the Order of Augustinian Recollects in the Province of St. Ezekiel Moreno.

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< 2022 >
December
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    1
  • All day
    December 1, 2022

    BIRTHDAY

    Fray “Joseph” Pham Duc Quoc (novice)
    Sis. Aida Torio, SAR (Manila Chapter)
    Christy Joyce Fortaleza (RAY-Talisay)

    PRESBYTERAL ANNIVERSARY

    (1984-2022)
    Fray Constantino Real

    (2007-2022)
    Fray Excel Saycon
    Fray Allan Rubett Cabatian

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Fray Cornelio Moral (2014-2022)

2
  • All day
    December 2, 2022

    SSC-R MANILA:  REKOLETOS FESTIVAL 2022
    Inclusive Dates: December 2-9, 2022

    BIRTHRDAY

    Sis. Josefina de Leon, SAR (Manila Chapter)
    Sis. Rodita Gonzales, SAR (Cebu Chapter)

3
  • All day
    December 3, 2022

    PRESBYTERAL ORDINATION (Philippines)
    Venue: OLCP Church, Miranila, Quezon City
    Time: 9:00 a.m.
    Ordaining Prelate: Most Rev. Joel Baylon, D.D. (Diocese of Legazpi)

    Fray Cristito Rey Tepace
    Fray Ricky John Austria
    Fray Julius James Tinapao
    Fray James Erold Gatinao

    BIRTHDAY

    Bro. Manuel Concepcion, SAR (Manila Chapter)
    Sis. Amparo Tordillo, SAR (Cebu Chapter)

    PRESBYTERAL ANNIVERSARY

    (1994-2022)
    Fray Rouel Sia
    Fray Joel VillaruelFray Bernabe Dosdos

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Fray Crisostomo Garnica (2011-2022)
    +Sis. Avelina Go, SAR (Cebu Chapter)

4
  • All day
    December 4, 2022

    2ND SUNDAY OF ADVENT

    INTRAMUROS GRAND MARIAN PROCESSION
    Time: 4:00 p.m.
    Venue: Plaza Roma, Intramuros, Manila Carosa # 21B (Our Lady of Mt. Carmel de San Sebatian)

    BIRTHDAY

    Fray John Paul Tanquis
    Fray Kenneth Caligdong S
    Sr. Noemi Manzo, AR
    Bro. Santiago Chua, SAR (Talisay Chapter)
    Sis. Barbara Cordova, SAR (Bacolod Chapter)
    Bro. Santiago Chua, SAR (Talisay Chapter)
    Sis. Milica Cleofas, SAR (Provincialate Chapter)
    Joie Mendoza (RAY-Miranila)

    PRESBYTERAL ANNIVERSARY

    (2021-2022)
    Fray Ramon Bitancor III

5
  • All day
    December 5, 2022

    434TH ANNIVERSARY (1588-2022) OF THE AUGUSTINIAN RECOLLECTION

    31st FOUNDING ANNIVERSARY (1991-2022) SEMoNoRe, Antipolo

    BIRTHDAY

    Sis. Grethel Manalang, SAR (Manila Chapter)
    Sis. Crispina Osejo, SAR (Manila Chapter)

    PRESBYTERAL ANNIVERSARY

    (1995-2022)
    Fray Reynaldo Jaranilla
    Fray Antonio Zabala, Jr.

    (2003-2022)
    Fray Romeo Ben Potencio, Jr.

    (2009-2022)
    Fray Roy Baluarte
    Fray Dominador Mercado, Jr.
    Fray Renier Alviola
    Fray Christopher Gaspar

    (2018-2022)
    Fray Paul Demilliones
    Fray Kenneth Caligdong
    Fray Keneth Pahamutang
    Fray Niel Ryan Jarumay
    Fray Elpedio Sarita Jr.

    ANNIVERSARY (2006-2022) OF ACCEPTANCE AS SISTERS-GENERAL OF THE ORDER (OAR)

    Ms. Brenda Saliendra
    Ms. Nestoria Bad-an

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Mo. Juana de Sta. Rita, AR
    +Bro. Aproniano Dioko, SAR (Antipolo Chapter)
    +Sis. Loreda Cruz, SAR (Antipolo Chapter)

6
  • All day
    December 6, 2022

    BIRTHDAY

    Fray Amado Emmanuel Bolilia
    Sis. Gloria Piig, SAR (Baguio Chapter)
    Sis. Erlinda Paican, SAR (Cebu Chapter)
    Sis. Mary Maureen Torres, SAR (Cebu Chapter)
    Christy Mae Gregia (RAY-Tambo)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sr. Paciencia Orsolino, AR
    +Sis. Corazon Morales, SAR (Manila Chapter)
    +Bro. Jessie Bolaron, SAR (Cebu Chapter)
    +Bro. Gavino Ben Cabardo, SAR (Cebu Chapter)
    +Bro. Guillermo Villariza, SAR (Cebu Chapter)

7
  • All day
    December 7, 2022

    REAP ONLINE MEETING – PRESENTATION OF NORMS, POLICIES AND PROCEDURES (IV)

    BIRTHDAY

    Fray Jose Jaazeal Jakosalem
    Sr. Teodora Gentapa, AR Sr. Marlyn Escalante, AR
    Sis. Melinda Olis, SAR (Talisay Chapter)
    Sis. Loreta Maglaque, SAR (Tondo Chapter)
    Sis. Maria Estrella Anotado, SAR (Antipolo Chapter)

    PRESBYTERAL ANNIVERSARY

    (2019-2022)
    Fray Jorr Rabacal
    Fray Monday Benjamine Edobor
    Fray Ifeanyichukwu Maximillian Omem
    Fray Jovy Gallego
    Fray Andrie Pugate
    Fray Jessriel Marcha
    Fray Tomokatsu Yamaguchi

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sr. Andrea Martinez, AR
    +Sis. Teopista Eltanal, SAR (Valencia Chapter)
    +Sis. Helen Lingao, SAR (Miranila Chapter)

8
  • All day
    December 8, 2022

    SOLEMNITY OF THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION

    BIRTHDAY

    Fray Leo Neil Bullos
    Sr. Concepcion Anadon, AR
    Sr. Concepcion Potoy, AR
    Sis. Concepcion Tagros, SAR (Provincialate Chapter)
    Sis. Marjorie de Asis, SAR (Manila Chapter)
    Bro. Clemente San Gabriel Jr., SAR (Tondo Chapter)

    PRESBYTERAL ANNIVERSARY

    (1967-2022)
    Most Rev. Patricio Buzon, SDB, D.D. (Diocese of Bacolod)

    (1972-2022)
    Most Rev. Honesto Ongtioco, D.D. (Diocese of Cubao)

    (2000-2022)
    Fray Don Besana
    Fray Rommel Rubia
    Fray Edgar Tubio

    (2006-2022)

    Fray Roland Cepe
    Fray Gideon Antolin Lagrimas

    (2015-2022)

    Fray Ken Oliver Lao
    Fray Nimrod Launio
    Fray Leo Neil Bullos
    Fray Mark Ryan Prado
    Fray Enrico Nacorda
    Fray Nelson Plohimon
    Fray John Zachary Haguisan
    Fray Rafael Pecson
    Fray Jerik Troy Siozon
    Fray Lounal Jarumay

    ANNIVERSARY OF SIMPLE PROFESSION

    Sr. Marites Carasig, OAR
    Sr. Lucita Minguito, OAR

    ANNIVERSARY OF SOLEMN PROFESSION

    Sr. Marites Carasig, OAR
    Sr. Lucita Minguito, OAR

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sis. Leonora Larlar, SAR (San Carlos Chapter)

9
  • All day
    December 9, 2022

    BIRTHDAY

    Br. Alan Dale Adel (postulant)
    Sr. Ma. Alberta Tabon, AR
    Sr. Ma. Rosalina Fuertes, AR
    Sr. Herminia Limotlimot, AR
    Sr. Myrna Mianagua, AR
    Sr. Bernadette Calzado, AR
    Bro. German Abrina, SAR (Puerto Princesa Chapter)
    Desiree Mae Lauron (RAY-Miranila)

    PRESBYTERAL ANNIVERSARY

    (2002-2022)
    Fray Joel Dequilla
    Fray Jay Parilla
    Fray Niño Cesar Ruiz

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sr. Magdalena de Sta. Maria
    +Mo. Potenciana de la Encarnacion
    +Sis. Florencia Bacalso, SAR (Cebu Chapter)
    +Sis. Purificacion Dakoykoy, SAR (Cebu Chapter)

10
  • All day
    December 10, 2022

    PSTV: SOLEMN PROFESSION & DIACONAL ORDINATION OF FRAY DANILLO DE SOUZA SANTOS

    BIRTHDAY

    Sis. Emerita de la Cruz, SAR (Inagawan Chapter)
    Sis. Merly Soriano, SAR (Inagawan Chapter)
    Sis. Eulalia Cabigas, SAR (Laray Chapter)
    Maica Bironia (RAY-Miranila)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Bro. Melchor Atienza, SAR (Provincialate Chapter)

11
  • All day
    December 11, 2022

    3RD SUNDAY OF ADVENT

    BIRTHDAY

    Sr. Ma. Amada de Ramos, AR
    Bro. Earl Romulo Quero Jr., SAR (Antipolo Chapter)

    REAP CONFERENCES – NORMS, POLICIES, AND PROCEDURES
    Venue: Talavera House of Prayer, Cebu City
    Inclusive Dates: December 11 – 15, 2022

    PRESBYTERAL ANNIVERSARY

    (2010-2022)
    Fray Persiuz Joseph Decena

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sr. Lourdes Tablizo, AR
    +Bro. Antonio Fidel Padua, SAR (Miranila Chapter)

12
  • All day
    December 12, 2022

    BIRTHDAY

    Fray Jestoni Latagan (novice)
    Sis. Ma. Isabel Baluyot, SAR (Provincialate Chapter)
    John Paul Morales (RAY-Caidiocan)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sis. Basilia Balbino, SAR (Cebu Chapter)

13
  • All day
    December 13, 2022

    BIRTHDAY

    Jessa Mae Camay (RAY-Laray)

    PRESBYTERAL ANNIVERSARY

    (1969-2022)
    Pope Francis

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Mo. Carmen de Sto. Niño, AR

14
  • All day
    December 14, 2022

    BIRTHDAY

    Fray Charlito Orobia
    Sis. Fe Horcasitas, SAR (Laray Chapter)
    Sis. Maria Theresa Mislang, SAR (Laray Chapter)
    Bro. Carlito Villanueva, SAR (Brooke’s Point Chapter)

15
  • All day
    December 15, 2022

    BIRTHDAY

    Sr. Florinda Gonzales, AR
    Sis. Eleonor Tadena, SAR (Antipolo Chapter)
    Sis. Evelyn Garcellano, SAR (Puerto Princesa Chapter)
    Sis. Lucia Adormeo, SAR (Cebu Chapter)
    Sis. Suzette Gasparillo, SAR (Bacolod Chapter)

16
  • All day
    December 16, 2022

    SIMBANG GABI STARTS

    BIRTHDAY

    Br. Rossil Albina (postulant)
    Sis. Alita Atotubo, SAR (Laray Chapter)
    Sis. Lucia Yburan, SAR (Cebu Chapter)
    Danica Padilla (RAY-Baguio)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sr. Evangeline Geuncion, AR
    +Sr. Paulina Admana, AR
    +Sr. Ma. Milgaros Lucero, AR
    +Sis. Evangeline Mactao, SAR (Cebu Chapter)

17
  • All day
    December 17, 2022

    BIRTHDAY

    POPE FRANCIS (Jorge Mario Bergoglio)
    Sis. Rustica Tolentino, SAR (Provincialate Chapter)
    Sis. Luzviminda Arienda, SAR (Manila Chapter)
    Sis. Myrna Condeicion, SAR (Antipolo Chapter)
    Sis. Femesolene Gamboa, SAR (Talisay Chapter)
    Sis. Bibiana Madrinan, SAR (Cebu Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sr. Generosa Dimapilis, AR

18
  • All day
    December 18, 2022

    4TH SUNDAY OF ADVENT

    BIRTHDAY

    Br. June Clark Solas (prenovice)
    Most Rev. Ryan Jimenez, D.D. (Bishop of Chalan Kanoa)
    Bro. Charlito Padul, SAR (Puerto Princesa Chapter)
    Bro. Romeo Pascual, SAR (Manila Chapter)
    Sis. Amparo Tancino, SAR (Cebu Chapter)
    Cyrah Cathillar (RAY-Urbiztondo)

19
  • All day
    December 19, 2022

    ONLINE TRAINING SESSION: COMMISSION FOR THE PROTECTION OF MINORS AND VULNERABLE PERSONS

    BIRTHDAY

    Fray Excel Saycon
    Sr. Modesta San Jose, AR
    Sis. Maribel Taclobos, SAR (Bacolod Chapter)
    Sis. Elsa de Guzman, SAR (Urbiztondo Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sis. Rosario Nacua, SAR (Cebu Chapter)
    +Sis. Anatolia Lopez, SAR (Cebu Chapter)

20
  • All day
    December 20, 2022

    BIRTHDAY

    Fray Albert Pellazar

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sr. Soledad Samonte, AR

21
  • All day
    December 21, 2022

    BIRTHDAY

    Ma. Nicaella Rudio (RAY-Canlubang)
    Angel Mae Paraan (RAY-Urbiztondo)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Bro. Serapion Bustamante, SAR (Cebu Chapter)

22
  • All day
    December 22, 2022

    BIRTHDAY

    Sr. Ma. Emma Navea, AR
    Sis. Eusebia Rubillos, SAR (Cebu Chapter)

    ANNIVERSARY OF SIMPLE PROFESSION

    (1986-2022)
    Fray Agustin Culaton

    ANNIVERSARY OF SOLEMN PROFESSION

    (1989-2022)
    Fray Agustin Culaton

23
  • All day
    December 23, 2022

    BIRTHDAY

    Fray Ricky John Austria
    Br. Kent Año (postulant)
    Sis. Floresita Sanico, SAR (Cebu Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sr. Mercedes Jayme, AR
    +Sr. Felicidad Pangilinan, AR

24
  • All day
    December 24, 2022

    BIRTHDAY

    Most Rev. Natale Paganelli, SX (Diocese of Makeni)
    Fray Allan Jacinto
    Sis. Emma Binoya, SAR (Cebu Chapter)
    Sis. Aida Balagtas, SAR (Valencia Chapter)
    Sis. Christer Mari Taclobos, SAR (Bacolod Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sis. Bienvenida Dumpa, SAR (Cebu Chapter)

25
  • All day
    December 25, 2022

    CHRISTMAS DAY

    Urbi et Orbi / 12:00 nn (Rome Time)

    BIRTHDAY OF:

    Sr. Mary Lou Duhino, AR
    Sis. Gloria Horcasitas, SAR (San Carlos Chapter)
    Bro. Sofronio Maribojoc, SAR (San Carlos Chapter)

    PRESBYTERAL ANNIVERSARY

    (1980-2022)
    Most Rev. Natale Paganelli, SX (Diocese of Makeni)

26
  • All day
    December 26, 2022

    BIRTHDAY

    Bro. Allan Vivas, SAR (Puerto Princesa Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sr. Maria Gavino, AR
    +Sis. Concepcion Artiaga, SAR (Cebu Chapter)

27
  • All day
    December 27, 2022

    BIRTHDAY

    Sr. Ma. Editha Escalania, AR
    Sr. Filomena Atun, AR
    Sis. Evelyn Gaerlan, SAR (Baguio Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sis. Rosalina Cepe, SAR (Valencia Chapter)

28
  • All day
    December 28, 2022

    HOLY INNOCENTS

    BIRTHDAY

    Fray Niño Cesar Ruiz
    Fray Jessriel Marcha
    Sis. Remia Gallegos, SAR (Talisay Chapter)
    Sis. Lydia Gutierrez, SAR (Bacolod Chapter)
    Sis. Luzviminda Tecson, SAR (Cebu Chapter)
    Sis. Emily Dacanay, SAR (Manila Chapter)
    Cyrine Mae Mendoza (RAY-Talisay)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sis. Rita Lincoran, SAR (Antipolo Chapter)
    +Bro. Bartolome Lamug, SAR (Baguio Chapter)

29
  • All day
    December 29, 2022

    BIRTHDAY

    Sis. Luz Tañales, SAR (Brooke’s Point Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sr. Justa de Jesus, AR
    +Sis. Benita Legaspi, SAR (Cebu Chapter)

30
  • All day
    December 30, 2022

    FEAST OF THE HOLY FAMILY

    [Rizal Day: Regular Holiday]

    BIRTHDAY

    Bro. Tomas Banguilan, SAR (Provincialate Chapter)
    Bro. Delfin Anareta, SAR (Antipolo Chapter)
    Sis. Violeta Fumar, SAR (Miranila Chapter)
    Sis. Rizalina Gasmido, SAR (Provincialate Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sr. Maria Viñon, AR
    +Sis. Teresita Villasario, SAR (San Carlos Chapter)
    +Sis. Benita Dianon, SAR (Cebu Chapter)
    +Sis. Esperanza Montesclaros, SAR (Cebu Chapter)

31
  • All day
    December 31, 2022

    ROME: Celebration of Vespers and Te Deum in Thanksgiving for the past year (1700H, Rome Time)

    BIRTHDAY

    Fray Antonio Zabala, Jr. Fray Jose Alden Alipin
    Sr. Potenciana Azurin, AR
    Sis. Elizabeth Mahusay, SAR (Talisay Chapter)
    Sis. Erlinda Yubal, SAR (Cebu Chapter)
    Sis. Pauline Culaton, SAR (Baguio Chapter)
    Sis. Teresita Dayag, SAR (Manila Chapter)
    Bonnie de Guzman (RAY-Urbiztondo)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sr. Benigna de la Purisima Concepcion, AR
    +Sis. Zenaida Maglalang, SAR (Manila Chapter)
    +Sis. Myrna Baynosa, SAR (Bacolod Chapter)
    +Sis. Nelia Rito, SAR (Talisay Chapter)

    HAPPY NEW YEAR 2023!

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