Christmas is a welcome celebration in the life of the Church, our country and the world. So much had happened that impacted the lives of many people especially the least, the last and the marginalized members of our society.
In particular, the recent election and senseless violence around us sowed fear, uncertainty and very sadly, polarization, hatred and prejudice especially to our undocumented immigrant brothers and sisters.
The celebration of the birthday of Jesus Christ, is a timely reminder of God's gift of peace and happiness. The message of hope is so meaningful to our world that advocates values contrary to the divine will and design: the culture of death in the forms of abortion, war and genocide that negate the dignity and sanctity of life and the culture of indifference to hunger, homelessness and economic inequity that cause tremendous suffering and pain to the poor.
What an opportune time for us to reflect on the meaning of the Incarnation of the Son of God. Jesus Christ was sent as our Savior to proclaim the good tidings of joy and peace, that there is hope in the midst of despair, love in the midst of hatred and light in the midst of darkness. This is the reason we sing "joy to the world, because the Lord has come."
Christ came for our conversion and reconciliation - to renew our faith in his power and in his presence to usher a new day for us; to strengthen our hope in his goodness, that with Him and through Him, change is within our reach; to rekindle our love for God and for each other so we can overcome hatred and prejudice; and, in the midst of diversity to inspire out hearts to build bridges so we can become one God's family no matter the cultural differences we have.
Let then the light of Christ shine bright in our hearts to dispel the darkness, fear and division in our midst. Set our hearts in God and work on loving each other again as Christ loves us. Be the prophetic voice that proclaims "God is alive, he has come and his kingdom is at hand."
On behalf of SCAPA and the staff of the SCDC/Asian and Pacific Island Affairs, a Blessed and Merry Christmas to all!