Bearers of Light and Life
IN the past days, two major events related to our Christmas celebration, which also speaks of volumes of some of the themes of Christmas, were held in the University. The first was the Lights-on Ceremonies last December 7 and the other one was the Annual Christmas gathering of employees sponsored by the USAFAPA last December 11.
These two events in a way speak to us about the meaning of Christmas. The lights-on more than beautifying the school with vibrant lights, points to us a deeper message about Christmas, which Christ is the true light.
Christmas is a time of hope since Christ as the true light has the power to dispel the darkness and gloom of the night.
Christmas time happens near winter solstice in the Northern hemisphere when the night time is at its longest.
The breaking in of Christmas, or the birth of Christ is a magnificent symbol to all believers that no matter how deep the darkness is, there is hope; and this hope is no other than Christ himself.We might be overshadowed and consumed by deep and frigid darkness, but we need not be afraid for Christ is coming, Christ is the light.
Christmas reminds us that dark-ness does not have the final say in life; rather, it is light, who is no other than Christ.
As an Augustinian community we are called to be bearers of this light to others. We should not expect the world we live in to be devoid of its shadows and dark nights. Rather, we should be ready to live in a world full of darkness, and it is in that kind of world where our light shines the most.
The world we live in might be rocked by a number of disconcerting news and events, but these things should not discourage us. Rather, we should take the challenge to bring light to all we meet.
If people are slowly consumed by the dark forces, we strive to bring them back to light. When our efforts seem little compared to the gigantic forces opposite us, let us cling to the hope that as long as God is with us, who can be against us.
The second event - the Christmas gathering of employees - points out to us that Christmas is indeed a time of celebration, a time of joy. The reason behind this is because Christmas commemorates that singular moment in history when God in his goodness and out of his great love made a dwelling among us.
The time of Christmas reminds us that true love is a love that goes out of oneself and reaches out to others especially those who are in need.
Christmas in a way does not only touch the theme of light and darkness but also of life and death. What we are celebrating is the birth of God who became man, which somehow shows us how life is begotten and how life can be sustained.
On a deeper reflection what the season is reminding us is this: life on earth started because God out of His great love made the choice to share His very life in the form of His creation.
In the same manner, life can be sustained if we learn how to give ourselves to others and not just obssess ourselves with our own selfish concerns.
The spirit of Christmas is a spirit of sharing, of giving of love; and unless this act of love in its purest form continues to abide in our world, there is a danger that life as we know it will end and we will enter into the dreadful place where there is no life often depicted as the desert.
The community we belong in is a rich ground where we can put into practice this call to give love.
A community becomes possible if people do not only expect to be cared and loved for by others but above all if they have the courage to share love even to people who least deserve it.
In a community where more people become selfish, the community degenerates and all types of social ills become visible. But the more people become concerned with and sensitive to the needs of others the more the community becomes vibrant, the more life is present.
The challenge for us, Augustinians, then in this time of Christmas is to live a heroic life in a world full of darkness that leads to death.
We are called not just to be the bearers of light but also the bearers of life.
A merry and meaningful Christmas celebration to all!