At this time of the year in our Christian world, all life’s roads lead to Christmas. However, some roads are desolate, dusty and dark while others are paved, wide and elaborate. Those who have means can fill their shopping carts with sparkling wines and goodies, buy gifts in sterling fashion, mount their tables with food in abundance to cater to the most discriminating palate, their home decorations and furnishings are no less than the best in trend.  Their life’s comfort zones are well secured and guaranteed to last.

But there those who can barely buy a pair of shoes for Christmas, no chocolates for the kids, only candle but no cake, no new clothes, foodless dining tables, roofless homes, and the next meal is a dream. They work long hours under the punishing heat of the sun till the wee hours dawn, their faces and muscles are muddy and dirty, no Christmas bells to bring cheers, no hollies to decorate their homes and their anguish is endless. It seems that Santa’s sleigh will not pass their way this Christmas. Such is the wheel and fortune of life, some live at the top of the world while others are pinned underneath. Sometimes we dance in the ballroom, at other times we weep in the grave. There are those who burst with  deafening laughter while others swallow the pain of loss and misery.

Yes, life is a bundle of complexities and mysteries, but whatever it is and in whichever plight we are in now as conditioned by global recession in many respects, it’s very comforting to bear in mind, that the first Christmas was bereft of colorful bulbs and the only light was the flickering shine from the star at Bethlehem. The newly born child was wrapped in swaddling clothes and not in fabulous haberdashery. There were no trimmings nor intricate buntings but only dried straws of hays and maybe a few stems and leaves of desert plantains. There was no food on the table to feast on, but only the cold ground zero where the manger was laid with probably some crumbs of animal food leftover scattered somewhere around. There was no display of wealth or mundane royalty, but only extreme poverty and survival. There were no exclusive visitors and guests for the party, but only poor shepherds with dusty and strained hands tending their sheep who came to worship the Holy Infant. But above all, there is Christ, the reason for the holy season and to whom we should truly focus on Christmas. It is time for love, so let’s keep loving, a time to give and forgive, therefore let’s keep giving and forgiving. It’s the most wonderful time of the year and indeed of our life. MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY NEW YEAR TO EVERYONE!

St. Faustina wrote: “Love must be reciprocal. If Jesus tasted the fullness of bitterness for me, then, I, his bride will accept all bitterness, as proof of my love for Him.”

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