Mary Christmas | Inquirer Opinion
Moments

Mary Christmas

The story is told about two old friends who met each other after so many years. The first one said: “Good for you, you are already a pensionado (pensioner).” The second one said: “Why? How about you?” The first one said: “Me? I’m still tensionado (full of tensions)!”

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In today’s Gospel (Lk. 1,26-38), we hear of the tension that Mary went through when the Angel Gabriel announced that she was to become the mother of Jesus, but in the most impossible circumstances, humanly speaking. She was greatly disturbed and troubled, but she went beyond the tension by simply trusting and believing in God and His promise. Let us learn from Mary that all our tensions will become “pensions,” if we learn to believe, trust, surrender and obey God.

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Are you a pensionado or a tensionado? Let us learn from Mary that whoever obeys God will receive blessings, and whoever disobeys God will live a life of tensions. Like Mary too, let us not focus on what people will say, but on what God says. “May it be done to me according to your word”—this prayer of Mary is the key to a peaceful, meaningful and
blessed life.

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The first Christmas was a Mary Christmas. It was poor and austere, but it was so full of love, hope and joy. Mama Mary was focused on the Child Jesus, and that is why she was able to transcend the poverty and uncertainty that surrounded the Savior’s birth. We too, must look beyond the sights and sounds of materialism which lead us to a stressful and empty Christmas. Let us make Christmas a Mary Christmas.

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Mary accepted the lowly manger as a crib for her Son. She did not complain, nor sulk, nor indulge in self-pity. She did not act as a manager. She just accepted the manger. That is the problem with many of us who want to manage everything and everyone. Those who play the game of impositions, control and expectations will live a life full of tensions. Like Mary, we must learn to let go, and just let God.

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Mary did not complain that her firstborn had to be born in a cave where animals took shelter. She could have continued to question God, or be resentful, but she did not. She just trusted, and joyfully trusted through it all. Imagine the pains and doubt she had to go through from the time she conceived Jesus, until the time she held the lifeless body of her Son at Calvary. Like Mary, may we become more like a cave that accepts and takes in, and not a wall that blocks off and stands proud to God and to people.

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Please find time for a quiet Christmas moment. Visit a church or a chapel and just listen and let it all sink in. In the silence, remember, rejoice, and renew, and just be grateful. Mama Mary was a prayerful person. The problem with some prayerful persons is that they do not really listen to God, and to people around them. They only listen to themselves and what they want from God and from people around them.

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Sharing with you my Christmas prayer: Salamat po Panginoon, at narating muli ang Pasko. Isang taon ang nagdaan kamiíy naritoít nag-aalay sa inyo; salamat sa mga biyaya, at salamat din sa mga pagsubok ninyo; salamat din sa inyo na kasama ko sa buhay ko; wala akong maibibigay kundi ang pag-ibig ko, at ang panalangin na sanaíy magkasama pa rin tayo sa susunod na Pasko, at sa marami pang Pasko! Amen.

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Wishing you all a Mary Christmas. May Christmas be beautiful for us this year, and may we make Christmas somehow beautiful for many people. Yes, may our Christmas and 2015 be filled with mercy and compassion in line with Pope Francis’ spirit and advocacy.

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Let us all make a collective Christmas wish and prayer for our country, the Philippines. Let us pray that there will be more lasting peace and real progress in our land. May the visit of Pope Francis in 2015 bring true renewal in each and every one of us, in our families, in our church, in our government, in our land.

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It is our first Christmas without Mama in our midst. We miss her especially at Christmas, but she remains in our hearts as a joyful presence, and a constant reminder of kindness and simplicity. A good person is never gone. She is missed by so many aside from our familyóour humble, prayerful and loving Mama Conching. Mary Christmas, Mama! Till we meet again in the resurrection precisely because a Savior was born.

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Think about this: There were people who were with us last Christmas, and no longer with us this Christmas. And there are people with us this Christmas who may no longer be with us next Christmas. So why don’t we make this the best Christmas ever yet?

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A moment with the Lord:

Lord, help us to have a Mary Christmas, simple, but full of love, hope and rejoicing. Amen.

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TAGS: Christmas prayer, Christmas season, first Christmas, Mother Mary
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