What makes us excited this Christmas season? Are we excited of opening our gifts? Receiving our bonuses? Seeing our loved ones? Gazing at colorfully lit Christmas decorations? Attending the Simbang Gabi? Queuing to taste the puto bumbong or bibingka? Are we really excited on the celebration of the coming of Jesus? Or our excitement is rooted only to some mundane matters? Christmas Eve is the pinnacle of our nine-day preparation for the celebration of our Savior’s birth. As the zenith of our excitement, this celebration reminds us to rejoice and be glad, not only because of the different parties, events, and family activities, but most of all, because we commemorate the coming of Jesus Christ to save mankind. As mentioned in the readings, Jesus is compared to a bright light who will extinguish darkness. He will give us unending gladness – gladness which the world cannot give.

A Vigil Mass presided by Rev. Fr. Leonardo M. Guiang Jr., OSM started the celebration of the Lord’s coming at the St. Peregrine Laziosi Parish. It was followed with the Panunuluyan – a centuries old Filipino Christmas tradition which highlights the struggle of Joseph and Mary in finding a lodging prior to the birth of Jesus. Right after this, the Midnight Mass followed which was presided by Rev. Fr. Deogracias G. Alejandria Jr., OSM – Parish Administrator and Vicar-Provincial of the St. Peregrine Philippine Vicariate of the Order of Servants of Mary along with other Servite Friars as concelebrants. On December 25th, Christmas Day, a Dawn Mass was celebrated at 6:00AM, followed by masses at 7:30AM, 9:00AM, 10:30AM, 4:30PM, 6:00PM and 7:30PM.

As the whole Christian world celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ, we the people of God should always be full of love, hope, and joy. Let us be full of rejoicing for our Savior has come to save us. Merry Christmas!

Images of this year’s Christmas celebration can be viewed at the Parish’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.2252318824787728&type=1&l=348672ba32

~ Jasper Christian Gambito, St. Peregrine Laziosi Parish