DOP CIRCULAR NO. 2018-124
21 December 2018
TO: ALL PARISH PRIESTS, PASTORS, PARISH ADMINISTRATORS, CHAPLAINS, RECTORS OF SHRINES, GUEST PRIESTS, PRIESTS-ON-LOAN, RELIGIOUS PRIESTS, and LAY FAITHFUL IN THE DIOCESE OF PARAÑAQUE
RE: 2018 CHRISTMAS MESSAGE OF HIS EXCELLENCY, MOST REV. JESSE E. MERCADO, D.D.
Dear brothers and sisters,
A Blessed and Grace-filled Christmas!
Christ is born for us, come, let us adore him! Let us open our hearts and welcome the Baby Jesus in joy and in love! As our Holy Father Pope Francis beautifully expressed it in his Christmas Message (2015): “Let us receive Him Who is the radiant ‘day’ that has dawned on the horizon of humanity: A day of mercy, in which God our Father has revealed his great tenderness to the entire world. a day of light, which dispels the darkness of fear and anxiety. A day of peace, which makes for encounter, dialogue and, above all, reconciliation. A day of joy: a “great joy” for the poor, the lowly and for all the people (cf. Lk 2:10).”
By His birth, every family, every parish and community, in fact, the whole world, has been renewed in God’s love made incarnate in Jesus Christ. And now that He has pitched His tent with us (for that is why his name is Emmanuel), He has become our faithful Kalakbay, our constant Kaakbay and our steadfast Kaagapay.
Amidst the crisis and difficulties our country is faced with, brought about by the spiraling cost of living, the daily interminable traffic mess, the extra-judicial killings, air pollution in the metropolitan cities, corruption and scandal in all institutions whether socio-economic, political and even religious communities,– YET, amidst all of these , the Lord’s Birth proclaims to us today: Rejoice! For He who loves us, is merciful, and kind, slow to anger, abounding in love! He has wholeheartedly embraced us in all our frailties and sinfulness. He has called us to be His own. We are his people, the flock He shepherds!
Through His Son Jesus, we have all been freed from the many forms of evil present in our midst today: corruption, consumerism, hedonism, egoism, our kanya-kanya habit, the prevailing culture of death! Through His Son who has become one of us, we all can find a way out of this seemingly insoluble problems besetting the land. Let us not forget: We are God’s BELOVED! We have been blessed with His GIFTS for the building up of His Church in this world! And by the power of the Holy Spirit, we are EMPOWERED to be the Joyful Bearers of His Good News: Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is born for us! And where God is born, hope is born. Where hope is born, peace is born! Let us like Mary and Joseph entrust ourselves to Him so that His plan of salvation be done in us! A joyful Christmas and a peaceful New Year to everyone!
Most Rev. Jesse E. Mercado, D.D.
Bishop of Parañaque
REV. FR. CARMELO O. ESTORES