THE FILIPINO Master of the Order of Preachers reminded his brother Dominicans that Christmas is not just a celebration, but a mission, in his message for Christmas on the 803rd anniversary of the confirmation of the Order of Preachers last Dec. 22.

“Before God sends us, He has sent his own Son. God sends the best help, and Jesus invites us to share his work and mission. As the Father has sent Jesus, Jesus sent you,” Fr. Gerard Timoner III, O.P. said.

Timoner noted that the Italian and Spanish terms for giving birth, dare alla luce and dar a luz, respectively, directly translate to “to give to the light,” while the Filipino term, isilang, has the same connotation.

“[But] Mary’s birthing of Jesus did not only bring her Son to the light, she brought the Light into our world,” he said.

The UST chancellor urged Catholics to refrain from “sanitizing” the disturbing details of the Christmas story, particularly the difficult circumstances of Christ’s birth in a manger, and realize how the “darkness” of the story is part of what should be celebrated.

“The incomplete joy we feel on Christmas does not tell us that the spirit of Christmas is not with us. Rather, it makes us realize that Christmas comes to a world yearning for a Messiah that can heal its woundedness,” Timoner said.

“No matter how big or little they are, the sadness and emptiness we feel even during Christmas Day is part of that dark side that we have to acknowledge in order to let Jesus, our light, shine through that darkness,” he said.

The Order of Preachers, commonly known as Dominican Order, was formally established on Dec. 22, 1621 by virtue of the Bull “Religiosam Vitam” issued by Pope Honorius III. J.P.L. Enriquez

READ: Fr. Timoner’s Christmas Message


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