ONCE again, we are celebrating Christmas, a season when we can relive the values that the world urgently needs now—peace, joy, love. Indeed, we are thankful that there is Christmas because it sets the bright mood that can easily dispel the gloomy atmosphere brought about by fears, disappointments and uncertainties of the times. Once again we are reminded of the great news that was announced first to the lowly shepherd: “Do not be afraid. I am here with good news for you, which will bring great joy to all the people. This very day in David’s town your Savior was born—Christ the Lord.” Then an army of angels sang praises to God: “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom he is well-pleased.” Christmas is, first of all, about good news. News that brings joy, peace and hope to the world. And the good news is a person—Jesus Himself, the gift of the Father to us all. Only because of this, fear cannot take hold in our hearts.

How consoling it is to think that as Christians, we are not only bearers of good news, we are likewise called to be good news to others, to our country and the world, like Christ. I believe that we are continually challenged to live up to this privileged name by the manner we live our lives as Christians and herald Christ’s presence in our midst by our word and witnessing. This is the underlying inspiration in the mission of UST to form young people. That they may become Christ-like, even as they may become good news to others, a source of joy and hope for the country and the world.

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A decade of love and friendship

It is therefore my wish during this Christmas season that we, Thomasians, may become one in celebrating the dawning of new hope and light to the world that is deeply immersed in gloom and darkness. But we cannot just be window watchers waiting for this reality to happen. We have to do our part to allow that rays of hope to shine forth, and this we can do by the fidelity of the task that is entrusted to us. Among us, teachers and collaborators, it is in giving our best to allow the giftedness of our students to emerge and flourish that we can bring light to people struggling in darkness. Among you, dear students, it is in the appreciation of the gifts and opportunities bestowed upon you and the diligence in nurturing these gifts and grabbing all opportunities to attain your goals for God and for our country that you could become beacons of hope to a world that is struggling in hopelessness.

It may sound like an old broken record, although with the same force and relevance, to say that you, my dear young people, are indeed the hope of the future. We, your mentors, shall continue to journey with you until you finally find your place under the sun.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

(Signed)
FR. TAMERLANE R. LANA, O.P.
Rector

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