My dear People of God:
On this happy occasion of Christmas, I wish to convey to you and your loved ones my greetings of peace and blessings of joy.
Christmas has many symbols. We hang lanterns. We put up Christmas lights. We decorate Christmas trees. We exchange gifts. We have traditional Christmas goodies and we party. All these symbols are seasonal. We cannot keep them the whole year round otherwise they become stale and life becomes expensive!
But Christmas is not just a day in the year. Christmas is everyday, in fact it can be every moment. Every time the priest whispers the words. “This is my Body … this is my Blood” over the bread and the chalice of wine, it is Christmas! Every time we celebrate the Mass, God comes down from heaven; dwells among us; enters our hearts and stays in our souls. Every time there is a Mass, we join the angels sing “Hosanna in the highest!”
If you want to fulfill the wish of the song, “Araw-araw ay Paskong lagi”, you do not need to keep the Christmas decors and eat the Christmas goodies the whole year. Go to Mass everyday — that is daily Christmas! Receive Holy Communion as much as possible everyday — that is Christmas everyday! So many lives have been changes by frequent Holy Communion. So many have become saints by daily Holy Communion. If all of us become saints, isn’t that why Christ was born?
Indeed the Mass is a celebration of Christmas every moment and everyday. As I bless you on this happy night, let me also invite you to pray in your families that one of your sons may be called to be priests. How can you have Christmas without priests? Do not take your priests for granted. They may possible the continuing rebirth of Christ among us. How can you celebrate Christmas without the priests? The priest is your father but he is also the mother who gives birth to Jesus on the altar not only once but everyday.
Treasure the daily Mass because that is your daily Christmas. Love your priests — you need them; they give you Jesus.
Merry Christmas to all!
From the Cathedral of Saint John the Evangelist, Dagupan City, December 24, 2010.
+SOCRATES B. VILLEGASArchbishop of Lingayen-Dagupan
Diad sayan maliket ya panaon na Fiestay Inkianak, labay kon inter ed sikayo tan saray inanaro yo so kareenan tan bendision na gayaga.
Dakerakel so simbolo na Christmas. Mangisasabit tayo ran a parol. Ontan met ed say Christmas lights. Dekoraan tayo so Christmas tree. Walay iteran tan balesan na regalo. Wala met iray kakanen ed Christmas, tan sikatayo so man-party. Amin darayan simbolo et nagagawa ed nigeter a panaon da labat. Aliwa ran sakey taon irayan gagawaen no andi et naderal tan naandid rad panaon tan magmaliw a mabli so panag-bilay!
Balet say Christmas et aliwan sakey labat ya silibrasyon ed sakey agew kada sakey taon. Inagew-agew so Chrismas. Say twa, anggan anton panaon. Kada say pari et ibalikas to so salitan, “Saya so Laman ko … saya so Dalak” diad say tinapay tan kupa na alak, et Christmas la! Kada sikatayo so mansilibra na Misa, say Dios so onakseb a manlapud tawen; manayam ed kapegleyan tayo; onloob ed kapusoan tayo tan manayam ed kamarerwa tayo. Kada walay Misa, kaiba tayo ray angel ya mangakanta na “Hosanna ed sankatageyan!”
No labay yon nagetma so pilalek na samay kansion “Araw-araw ay Paskong lagi”, agyo la nakaukolan ya isinop iramay dekorasyon na Christmas tan kanen iray kakanen na Christmas ed sakey taon. Mimisa kayo --- satan so inagew-agew a Christmas! Akoen yo so Masanton Komunyon anggan inagew-agew --- satan so inagew-agew a Christmas! Dakerakel lan bilay so apasimbalo lapud say mabetbet ya panagkomunyon. Dakerakel la so nagmaliw a santo diad panamegley na Masanton Komunyon. No amin tayo et magmaliw a santo, amta sikato ya so rason no akin et si Kristo so inyanak?
Twa say Misa et silibrasyon na Christmas ed kada oras ed inagew-agew. Diad say pangiter koy bendision ko ed sikayo ed sayan maliket ya labi, imbitaan takayo met ya manpikasi ya diad pamilya yo wala komon ed sikayo so tawagen na Katawan a magmaliw a pari to. Panon ya walay Christmas yo no anggapo ra so papari? Agyo ya ra ipireg-pireg so papari yo. Lapud sikara, say lawas ya inkianak nen Kristo ed kapegleyan tayo so nagagawa. Panon kayon mansilibra na Christmas no anggapo ra so papari? Say pari et sakey ya ama yo balet sikara met so ina yo ya aliling day mangiyanak ed si Jesus diad altar, aliwa labat ya maminpinsan no ingen diad inagew-agew.
Pabli yo so inagew-agew a Misa; sikato ya so inagew-agew a Christmas yo. Aro yo ray papari yo --- nakaukolan yo ra; iiter day Jesus ed sikayo.
Merry Christmas ed sikayon amin!
Diad Katedral nen San Juan Evangelista, Dagupan City, 24 Disiembre 2010.
+SOCRATES B. VILLEGAS
Arsobispo na Lingayen-Dagupan