Every year our Pastors remind us about Keeping Christ in Christmas – of enhancing our Christmas partying and shopping with spiritual and corporal acts of mercy that incarnate the love of Jesus which we celebrate. It is in this spirit that we invite all followers of Christ to make this coming Christmas different by deliberately challenging ourselves to stretch our imaginations and our capacities to be as loving as Christ.
Christmas is the biggest annual feast among Filipinos. While Theologically questions can be asked as to why among Filipinos they do not elevate Easter to its proper place. In truth the practice can be traced with how faith was brought to the Philippines. When Spaniards brought Christianity to the Philippines, the first image they introduced to the natives was that of the Infant Jesus. The people fell in love with him as he reflected the innocence, helplessness and dependence of the people in relation to the more powerful foreign masters who came to rule them.
When Filipinos come to Canada, or to any other foreign land for that matter, it is all too easy for them to adapt, adjust and do what the locals do, which become their primary means of adjustment, survival and progress. What happens at times is that the adjustment is done too far to the detriment of the good that they actually bring with them. One such aspect of life that usually suffers is the practice of the faith. While Filipinos may still attend Mass, practice devotions and engage in endless prayers of petition, after a while it all just turn into personal devotion. While this may be admirable in some sense, in another sense it leads them to spiritual stagnation.
The challenge is really personal. After all, discipleship is a personal calling. How we grow in that relationship with Jesus is all up to us. The challenge, is of course, to do way better than what we’ve ever done in the past.
Between November 27 to January 9, challenge yourself with nine (9) ACTS of CHRISTIAN LOVE! It is about making Christmas 2016 different for yourself as you make present the love of Christ and also for others as you focus on doing something meaningful to them. Think of any act of love repeated nine (9) times or even nine (9) different acts of love themselves. It does not matter how big or how small the act! What matters is that it stretches your own expression of solidarity and love for others – the true meaning of Christmas – of Christ becoming man all for our sake!
Here are some examples of what you might want to do….
- Completing the nine day Advent Novena (Simbang Gabi) or daily Mass attendance from December 16 to 24.
- Offering alms to nine (9) indigent or needy persons
- Sending nine (9) Christmas greetings to friends or relatives that you have not been in touch with for a long time
- Saying “I Love You” to your spouse, children, grandchildren, etc. for nine (9) consecutive days
- Reconciling with nine (9) people one has differences or conflicts with
- Spending nine (9) hours of adoration of the Blessed Sacrament
- Visiting nine (9) shut in elderly people in homes and institutions
- Praying the Holy Rosary of any other Devotion for nine (9) days
- Taking a leave for nine (9) days to do volunteer work in a charitable institution
- Giving the equivalent of one’s nine (9) day’s salary to a charitable organization
Once you are decided, spread the news!
Sign up for the challenge!
(if you have already signed up)