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Treasured Vault

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 their belief is to bring peace to the earth. We need one another to make this world peaceful, not only for this generation but for the generations after us. We may have differences of opinions and different religions, but being human, we are all the same; we are here today and gone tomorrow. We have nothing to boast of as far as our limited existence on this earth, so why not make the most of our existence, preparing this earth as an enjoyable and worthwhile living place 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 a grace which, while having a mysterious relationship with the Church, does not make them formally part of the Church but enlightens them in a way that accommodates their spiritual and material situation. This grace comes from Christ, the result of his Sacrifice, and is communicated by the Holy Spirit. It enables each person to attain salvation through their 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 clearly is that God wants all of us to be with Him.  To acknowledge His existence, we must draw near Him so that we may bring joy and please Him, and in return, we await a reward for us. Love can keep us together, and sharing the knowledge we receive and learn about Him will bring peace to the 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 a 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 into 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 humanity.

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

Suppose you believe you can manage your finances by giving directly to the needy instead of passing it to a third party, your institutional Church, or your favorite non-profit organization. In that case, you do 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 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, and may His face shine upon you and give you peace, a healthy body, and wealth so you can 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

Bishop Joseph Vitug, Ph.D. - Bishop Emeritus

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