Christmas is a universal holiday and for us Catholics it has a special meaning — that of love, which is also a universal truth. I would just like to share a message I heard from the sixth day of the nine-day novena mass we in our country observe, not strictly mind you, but a practice we have that somehow give us that inspiration as we “prepare” for Christmas.
I attended the sixth day of the “Simbang Gabi” novena mass (Dawn Mass, Misa de Gallo) last night with my family this was the message from last night’s gospel.
In my language, the following was imparted: Have we prepared ourselves for the coming of Jesus?
As explained by the priest last night, he used the following:
H – Handa (in English, it’s translated as prepare) How have I prepared myself for Christ’s birthday/coming? It is not only in the idea of being upright in the observance of Catholic rites but it refers especially for being upright in activities of daily living, e.g. Do I observe my work hours conscientiously? When I give something away or do something good to others, do I expect anything in return? It’s what in my heart that matters most — so, have I rid myself of grudges, of hate or revenge and only have forgiveness and acceptance of others as they are that I have in my heart?
A – Aminin (in English, it means to admit) Have I gone to the sacrament of reconciliation and HUMBLY admitted my faults, my sins and asked for the Lord’s forgiveness?
N – n.b. N-sayo, no contest please ( it’s actually ensayo and in English it means, to practice) Have I made my renewal an activity of daily living? Have I made it my way of life?
D – Dalhin ang Balita ng Panginoon sa iba (in English, it means to spread the Word of God) Have I been spreading God’s Word to the people I come in contact with everyday? Have I been God’s instrument of love for other people? Have I been acting in accordance to God’s will?
A – Atin ang kaligtasan ( In English, it means Salvation is Ours) As a Catholic, have I been God’s instrument in making others realize that they are saved because of Jesus?
This is the message imparted by the priest in the sixth day of the Misa de Gallo. It was a message waking us all up that Christmas is more than putting up the tree, buying gifts for family, relatives, office mates, friends, godchildren and even the friendly neighborhood garbage collector and street sweeper; having the proper menu for Christmas day, and making sure that everything in the house is in order for guests. It’s actually no longer the Baby Jesus’s birthday that we’re celebrating but more than that, we’re PREPARING for Christ the King’s second coming. I’m no naysayer but then thinking about His second coming means I’m finally going home!!! Here’s wishing everyone MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!