16th December 2014. 12:23pm
NaBloPoMo, Tuesday, December 16, 2014
Happy Chanukkah if you’re celebrating tonight. What do you do to fill the world with light?
I don’t celebrate Hanukkah, since I’m not Jewish, but I think that today’s Homily is somewhat relevant to “filling the world with light.” This morning, during the mass for the second day of Misa de Gallo, our parish priest talked about how different Pope Francis is from his predecessors, Pope Benedict XVI and even Pope John Paul II; where Pope Benedict XVI talked about Reason and Faith, and Pope John Paul II instilled “Be Not Afraid” in each of us, Pope Francis wants us to simply learn two things: Mercy and Joy.
How does that relate to Hanukkah? Hanukkah is observed for eight nights and days, Catholics prepare for the birth of Jesus Christ by attending midnight mass for nine days. But the real essence of these is kind of the same: lighting the candles to give light and hope in the dark is like giving mercy to someone who has sinned by not letting that person fall down completely but help him get back up. Whether you’re Jewish or Catholic, aren’t these two the same thing?
Now, I know I’m no angel. In fact, I’ve probably wronged a lot of people before, but one thing is for sure: when it comes to filling someone’s world with light, I’m pretty sure someone out there will say I am theirs, as someone is to me. I remember when I had a fight with one of my closest friends because despite of my constant reminding her about the wrong things that she is doing, she never listened to me. It took us a few days to reconcile, but I realized that letting her go wouldn’t help her right her wrong. So I stayed. We stayed as friends. Now, our light is brighter than ever. We learned from each other. We bring joy to each other. Reconciling helped clear our mind with hatred and darkness.
During the mass, the priest shared how Pope Francis was so cool to let the young ones take a selfie with him. But like what his holiness preaches, our priest asked us to not just “take a selfie” but to also “be selfless”; Selfie sounded a lot like being selfish, but if you’re selfless, if you just take a little time to show mercy towards your neighbor, it will bring joy not just to him/her, but you as well. We may not be angels and saints but that doesn’t mean we have to act like a selfish brat all the time. Christmas, Hanukkah, or Thanksgiving may be the one special holiday where people become so generous of giving love, joy, and presents to everyone but why not do it year-round? If we can take hundreds of selfies just to choose one image that we think made us looked beautiful the most, imagine how many times it will greatly reflect on us if we become the light in someone’s darkness. I’m pretty sure it will be a hit more than that One Direction song. Think about it.
PS: Today, the priest also told us that as we prepare for Pope Francis’ arrival here in our country, may we not just think about getting a selfie with his holiness but instead, think about why we are attending the special gathering on January 18, 2015.