(It is always an honor to collaborate with one of my heroes, Sr. Ma. Nilda Masirag, SPC, when she delivers her Christmas message. This is an abridged version due to the space constraint.)
We live in a world that is tragically divided.
Issues that you would think people can come together like climate change and respect for human rights are up for debate. Unbelievable, isn’t it?
That is why this Christmas season, we are challenged more than ever to receive Jesus in our homes — He who preached the gospel of joy rooted from the singular power of love and community.
We are challenged to live as He did:
To strive to see the goodness in others no matter how difficult;
To choose forgiveness over condemnation no matter how difficult;
To live outwardly in the spirit of charity and humility no matter how difficult;
The truest of joys emanates from living a life that Jesus Himself led, that is, living a life that is less of self and more for others.
There are two key points that we should look into.
The first is becoming LESS OF SELF.
I came across a book entitled Ego is the Enemy by Ryan Holiday. In it, ego is defined as an unhealthy belief in one’s own importance which becomes the usual root of our biggest problems. Indeed, left untethered, our own ego becomes our greatest enemy.
The second is becoming MORE FOR OTHERS. As Paulinians, we are constantly called to be all to all. We cannot afford to sit idly by. If there is something that we can do for our community, then we should do it and we should do it NOW.
We all can be a force for good should we choose to. Can you imagine what we can collectively do if each one of us endeavors to make a difference?
Yes, we live in a divided world but it does not have to remain this way. We must take it upon ourselves to help mend the wounds of division. We can do this by becoming less of self and more for others.
May we all have a meaningful Christmas celebration and, in turn, fill the world with the joy of Christ’s love and peace throughout the year.