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Christmas Message 2020

Though Christmas is a tradition and not written in the Bible, I encourage everyone to celebrate it with the believers without compromising whatever your belief is but just for the sake of bringing peace on earth. We need one another to make this world a peaceful place to live not only for this generation but for the generations after us.  We may have differences of opinions, different religions, but being human we are all the same; we are here today and gone tomorrow. We have nothing to boast for as far as our limited existence on this earth, so why not make the most of our existence preparing this earth an enjoyable and worth living place to live for the next generation.

Excerpts from Saint Pope Paul II with his Encyclical Letter -Redemptoris Missio (December 7, 1990)

“The universality of salvation means that it is granted not only to those who explicitly believe in Christ and have entered the Church. Since salvation is offered to all, it must be made concretely available to all. But it is clear that today, as in the past, many people do not have an opportunity to come to know or accept the gospel revelation or to enter the Church. The social and cultural conditions in which they live do not permit this, and frequently they have been brought up in other religious traditions. For such people salvation in Christ is accessible by virtue of a grace which, while having a mysterious relationship to the Church, does not make them formally part of the Church but enlightens them in a way which is accommodated to their spiritual and material situation. This grace comes from Christ; it is the result of his Sacrifice and is communicated by the Holy Spirit. It enables each person to attain salvation through his or her free cooperation.

For this reason, the Council, after affirming the centrality of the Paschal Mystery, went on to declare that “this applies not only to Christians but to all people of goodwill in whose hearts grace is secretly at work. Since Christ died for everyone, and since the ultimate calling of each of us comes from God and is, therefore, a universal one, we are obliged to hold that the Holy Spirit offers everyone the possibility of sharing in this Paschal Mystery in a manner known to God.”

The message is very clear that God wants all of us to be with Him.  To acknowledge His existence, we must draw near Him so as we may bring joy and please Him, and in return awaits a reward for us.  Love can keep us together and sharing the knowledge we receive and learn about Him will bring peace on earth. God so loves the world that He sent His Son who gave up his life on his own without pressure from the Father that we may have new life and through the reconciliation with the Father we become children of God. The Prince of Peace, the King of kings, Jesus the Son of God made it happens

Merry Christmas! We hope today is filled with love, laughter, and celebration that the King brings us back in a relationship with the Father our God. Being in the family of God, we assume the truth that we are partakers of His Divine Nature and are aware that we act as a walking advertisement of His goodwill and love of mankind.

Let us share our blessings with the widows that were forgotten by their relatives, and the poor that need help especially this time of the year that many lost their source of income because of the pandemic and unresolved greediness of politicians looking only for their pocket and ignore the citizens as a whole. 

If you believe that you can manage your finances by giving directly to the needy instead of passing it with a third party which is your institutional church or your favorite non-profit organization, you make yourself a favor, and your ministry of help kicks in.

“God is not unjust; He will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them. We want each of you to show this same diligence to the very end so that what you hope for may be fully realized.” Hebrew 6:10-11

It is the Spirit who impels us to proclaim the great works of God: As Paul said; “For if I preach the Gospel, which gives me no ground for boasting. For necessity is laid upon me. Woe to me if I do not preach the Gospel!” (1 Corinthians 9: 16)

May the good LORD bless and keep you, may His face shine upon you and give you peace, a healthy body, and wealth so you can be able to share with others. Remember the LORD of Host said; “I will bless those who bless you” this means when you become a blessing to others the blessings you will receive will come directly from Him. Jesus, we thank you for coming into our lives and the Holy Spirit for protection and guidance we thank you. God Bless Everyone!

Bishop Joseph

Dr. Joseph Vitug, Ph.D. - Bishop Emeritus

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