The Glory of the Lord shines on us like the sun. He will rise over us and appear in our midst. Glory is the characteristic of God who shared His glory with His Son Jesus Christ, the radiance of His glory. As He shines on the entire world, let our lips, hearts, minds and souls be filled with praises and glory all the days of our lives, (cf Ps 70).
Christmas has come! Today, we celebrate the Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us, (John 1: 14). Christmas is a wonderful time of the year because we are celebrating the most amazing mystery of salvation – the coming of the Saviour of the World once again. On this Christmas, we are grateful and thankful to God for the gifts of His Only Son. It is a time to share gifts of love with one another – our families and friends. Christmas is not about giving and receiving presents, but it is about the presence of Child Jesus and celebrating Him in our hearts and homes who is the real gift of Christmas.
Since the first week of Advent, Kuantan City residents and Parishioners have been admiring the glow of Christmas lights twinkling around our Church compound. The Christmas tree crib and decorations have already been put up inside and outside of the Church with the efforts of East Malaysians and a few individuals.This year will be my second Christmas with you. The first Christmas was way back when I was an Assistant Parish Priest in 2003.
Each Christmas reminds us that sharing love with others is our privilege, and every time we do that, Jesus is reborn in our midst. This Christmas, we have invited the Orang Asli families, the migrant Indonesians (plantation workers), and Vietnamese and University students to come for Christmas Eve and Christmas Masses. We have provided buses for them. They will stay overnight in our Parish for the Christmas celebration. We have catered meals and some potluck for them. We will distribute 250 goody bags as one of the gifts amongst others for all children on Christmas day at the breakfast corner and we invite Parishioners to join us in welcoming them.
For the first time, our carolers will be caroling in four languages at the Christmas and New Year's Eve Masses in our Church. They have been practicing these past four weeks and they are excited to sing the Christmas carols announcing the coming of Christmas and telling the story of the birth of Jesus Christ. We invite everyone to come together and worship the birth of Child Jesus in our personal way and prepare ourselves to move with the Spirit as we enter into the Christmas season.
After two tough years of the Covid-19 pandemic and its subsequent lockdowns and restrictions, this year we are looking forward to a remarkable Christmas celebration. As we gather together as family and friends in the Church for the Christmas celebration starting with the Eucharist, let the coming of Christ Jesus in the Holy Communion bring joy and the warmth of Christmas in our hearts. May the Child Jesus dwell in our hearts to bring hope, peace, joy, and a love-filled Christmas.
May the joy, love and happiness shine in our Parish as we pray that the spirit of Christmas is kept alive in our hearts always. A Very Merry Christmas to everyone!