Birthdays are occasions to treasure and celebrate, to rejoice and cheer. Reason: They are the incarnate gifts of God through the loving conjugal relationship of the parents concerned. So it is that birthdays are the supreme manifestations of an infinitely loving God whose likewise supreme gift is life. So it is only after one’s birth could he be endearing as a child and having fun as an adult. And while it is true that life has its sorrowful mysteries, it is also accompanied not only by joyful but also by glorious episodes in the course of time. So it is that while life is not always fun and delightful, it has much more blessings and joys than sorrows and pains. Only an incarnate pessimist – to his own loss and sorrow – does not have and feel the joys and delights likewise brought about by life.
So it is that the dear and endearing greeting and song, “Happy Birthday!” is in truth about the celebration brought about by having life. Is in fact about the endearing gift of life, the cheering that goes with the tenure of life. Exactly the opposite is the phenomenon of death which is a sorrowful event, a lamentable occasion, a sorrowful phenomenon. But come to think of it, it is better to have been born than not at all, better to have lived life than not at all at any time. The sometimes heard pronouncement, “I would rather not have been born at all” in reality is but a lamentation for having problems in life, experiencing difficulties in living.
But then, when brought to their extreme, the said lamentation and difficulties could lead to nothing less than suicide – the downright killing of oneself. It is now well-established that those who kill their selves are precisely not their own selves. They allow their problems or sorrows to blur their mind and weaken their will and thus eventually kill themselves. In other words, those committing suicide are not their own selves. So it is that even the Church now understands that the former ecclesial norm that those who commit suicide could not have a Catholic burial, found this administrative rule out of reality and truth, offensive of mercy and compassion.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, JESUS! This is the truth and the spirit, the event and the reality behind every 25th day of December every year – since no less than two thousand fifteen (2015) years ago. As Jesus Himself had his Birthday, so it is that people come from all corners of the globe – then, now and time yet to come – have their birthdays. So it is that people the world over – irrespective of their color, race and creed – all experience the joys, sorrows and benedictions of living.
Considering wherefore the precious worth, significance, and implications of life, so it is that the endearing shouts of “Mabuhay!” is our Filipino way of exalting life. Other people with other languages proclaim the same loving exhortation – such as “Viva!”, “Long live!”, and the liKe, all of which celebrate life. In the Philippines, the shout of “Mamatay ka sana!” is but an expression of anger. It is rather an evil wish, a condemnatory desire: Reason: There is nothing in this big, wide world that is more precious and priceless even, than the gift of life. Hence, again and again “Mabuhay!”
And again: HAPPY BIRTHDAY, JESUS!