Christmas is such a great event and marvelous reality that its inherent significance and invaluable lessons remain inexhaustible. This is why after some two thousand years of repeatedly celebrating it, Christmas still continues to mean many things to many people.
Allow me to point out one more significant and relevant truth Christmas offers for us to ponder on and to hopefully remember in our day to day living. The truth is composite in the sense that it is a triad—or a truth with no less than three constitutive teachings.
First is the primacy of a child. As the child Jesus is the centerpiece of Christmas, children must be the focus of our love, attention and concern. The violation of a child—irrespective of race, color or creed—is a most despicable act and a very heinous crime. The innocent face of a child is the mirror of God. Even Christ as an adult showed a special predilection for children. Hence, with Christ, we should promote the welfare and protect the rights of children. Doing otherwise is not even human.
Second is the nobility of women and the greatness of mothers. As Mary was a woman and a mother, women and mothers are truly special persons. They stand for tenderness and compassion, for courage and patience. In order for us to be convinced of these special and wherefore much appreciated attributes, it is enough for us to remember our own mothers. It is hard to think of a more dear and endearing word that “nanay” or “inay”. Woe to those who dare exploit or hurt women, who despise and offend mothers. What a shame that they were even born in the world.
Third is the responsibility of men and the commitment of fathers. As Joseph was a man and the foster-father of Christ, he did not say a single word as recorded by the holy scriptures. But his silence was what precisely enhanced his person as an honorable man, and what specially enhanced his seriousness and dedication in looking after the good and safety of the baby Jesus, and in attending to the needs and comfort of the virgin mother Mary. Just as a vicious man is a curse to society, an irresponsible father is an ordeal to a family.
In the spirit of Christmas wherefore, let us renew our praise and gratitude to Jesus, Mary and Joseph who are vividly and joyfully remembered during this wonderful season. We cannot but see in them, the preciousness of children, the significance of being men and women, plus the accountability of fatherhood and the loving kindness of motherhood.
A blessed and merry Christmas to all!
+OSCAR V. CRUZ, DD