Community Whispers by Ray Junia
Community Whispers

The Joys of Christmas

Dec 20, 2022, 12:24 AM
Ray L. Junia

Ray L. Junia

Publisher

It’s Christmas once again, and people are busy doing their last- minute shopping for gifts and food items to prepare for the Christmas meal. The pace at the markets is frenetic but prices rise as the ultimate day—December 25—nears.

In the haste of our busy lives, let us not forget the reason for Christmas, the birth of our Savior, the son of God (not the one who pretends to be one) in a lowly manger because people were not prepared to welcome Him then and now.

Many, among us, have been faithfully going to the Simbang Gabi (dawn masses) and Simba sa Gabi (anticipated dawn masses) because we have a wish or two to ask from God. The devotion is typically Filipino—including our countrymen abroad—who carry on the tradition in foreign shores. The practice is noteworthy because it cleanses (hopefully) our hearts in preparing for the coming of Christ, the very root of this celebration.

We must not only prepare our homes with dishes, gifts and decors galore. But most importantly, we must prepare our hearts for the coming of the Lord Jesus. Preparing for Him means cleansing our hearts of our deep-seated grudges, anger, fears and regrets.

We must also open our hearts to those in need of our help—financial, emotional and psychological--because even the most well-off among us is laden with burdens. Let us share our blessings with the poor, the underprivileged, those we see begging in the streets, the homeless and those living in carts. They, too, deserve to feel the joy of Christmas.

Malls are aglow with colorful and dazzling lights and Christmas songs. Shoppers and mallers are delighted to take selfies in such backgrounds. Boutiques and stores offer discounts in a bid to dispose their stocks so they can replenish for the coming months.

Food items, however, are priced too high—almost to the sky—that everyone is hard-pressed stretching their peso so they can buy more from their limited funds. Government must step in and appeal to the traders to at least be compassionate and not to overprice their goods, especially food, which would rot if not sold in time anyway. Government must also provide alternative markets, through the Kadiwa stores that it promised and deploy more of these mobile outlets so the poor can have more access to cheap food items for their Christmas table.

Let us also help our churches—donate those unused or seldom used clothes, bags, shoes and other stuffs that other people can use instead of just piling dust in our bodegas. Let us also help our churches succeed with their soup kitchens and distribution of gift bags to the needy this Christmas.

Christmas after all is a season of cheer and giving.

A joyful and hopeful Christmas to one and all!! Merry Christmas!!


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