“The voice of one crying out in the wilderness:

‘Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight;

Every valley shall be filled and every mountain and hill shall be made low,

And the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways made smooth;

And all flesh shall see the salvation of God.’ ”  (Luke 3:4b-6)


Christmas-JoyIn the Philippines, we have a beautiful way of preparing for Christmas – the nine days Misa de gallo or the dawn masses.  Usually, it is held at 4:00 AM or 4:30 AM for nine days.  All the Catholic Churches are overflowing with people on these 9 days dawn masses.  I saw a number of people who do not go for Sunday mass but are religiously attending the dawn masses.

It is a common belief that when one attends religiously the nine dawn masses, his/her prayer petitions will be granted.  I just thought – what about God’s expectations from us? Can we also answer God’s requests from us?

It’s Christmas!

I enjoy the Christmas lights, the lanterns, Christmas trees, the decorations and the Belen (nativity scene).  I like to listen to the Christmas songs especially when sung by a choir.  I love to see people giving gifts.  I enjoy watching children’s eyes light up when they receive Christmas gifts.  I join the excitement of mothers preparing the best food for Christmas Noche Buena for the family.  I believe that the best gift of this season is forgiveness more than the wrapped gifts. Love is sincere with forgiveness.  Patience and tolerance are stretched with forgiveness.  And then we are not far from receiving forgiveness from God.  Blessings of love, joy, peace, harmony and unity are God’s precious gifts for us with forgiveness. These are not available in the stores.  The richest people cannot buy these. The poorest of the poor can have these.merry-christmas-manger

 It’s a different air, a different gladness, a unique season of the year – a season of joy, of love, of peace and of hope – in spite and despite of earthquakes, typhoons, fire, accidents, death, etc. The victims of Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) tried to put up some Christmas decors and symbols even if they have no more homes to decorate.  They said “Christmas cannot be postponed and it cannot wait until they can overcome from the destruction.”Merry Christmas - 1OKne-10Y - normal

We can set aside sorrow, misunderstandings, failures, having nothing but not being nothing because God never abandons His people.  He became one like us and came as a child and grow as a human being like us.  He understands how we feel.  He knows our weakness.  And He came to redeem us; to strengthen us and assure us that we can overcome sin and follow His example.  We often ask God for many things.  God is also asking us to listen to Him and to give what He asks from us. Look around!  God is with us!

Thank you God for being one like us and with us – as Jesus Christ!

There is something about Christmas.  It’s Christmas joy!


-Star del Mar

Merry Christmas - 1OKne-10Z


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