UST Senior High School Regent Fr. Ermito De Sagon, O.P. presides over the first Misa de Aguinaldo at the UST Plaza Mayor on Saturday, Dec. 16. (Photo by Josh Nikkolai S. Bravo/ The Varsitarian)

CHRISTMAS reinforces the idea that all people illuminate light in a world filled with gloom and fear, Manila Archbishop Jose Cardinal Advincula told the faithful on the first day of the Misas de Aguinaldo on Saturday, Dec. 16, at the Manila Cathedral.

Advincula underscored the importance of light in the lives of the despaired, like the example of St. John the Baptist who became a “burning and shining lamp” in directing people toward God.

Maraming taong nabubuhay sa dilim dahil sa hirap ng buhay, dahil sa karamdaman, dahil sa kawalan ng trabaho at kapos sa pangangailangan,” the archbishop said in his homily. “Maging liwanag sana tayo na nagbibigay ng pag-asa at lakas ng loob.”

People could be the light for others by doing simple acts of kindness, the cardinal said.

Simpleng affirmation, simpleng encouragement, simpleng ngiti, simpleng assurance na nandito tayo para sa kaniya, para sa ating kapwa,” he said. “Ang mga ito ay sapat na para magbigay ng liwanag. Huwag nawa natin ipagdamot ito sa isa’t isa.”

Misa de Aguinaldo or Simbang Gabi, which was originally intended for farmers who begin their work before sunrise, is the traditional series of Masses offered for nine days that have become part of Filipino Christmas traditions.

For Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas, what matters during Simbang Gabi is when the faithful ask for repentance from their sins and receive the body of Christ.

Ang importante sa Simbang Gabi ay simba, hindi iyong gabi,” he said in a catechesis posted on his Facebook page on Dec. 11. “Sapagkat ang pinakaimportante sa simba ay si Hesus at si Hesus ay lahat-lahat sa atin. Simba na tayo ngayon.

Schedule of Christmas Masses at UST

In a circular issued by the Office of the Secretary General dated Dec. 8, the University will celebrate the Misa de Aguinaldo or Simbang Gabi at 4:30 a.m. until Dec. 24 at the Plaza Mayor if the weather is favorable.

Evening Masses will take place at 8:00 p.m. until Dec. 23 at the Santisimo Rosario Parish. 

UST Senior High School Regent Fr. Ermito de Sagon, O.P. presided over the first Simbang Gabi Mass at dawn on Dec. 16.

UST Rector Fr. Richard Ang, O.P. will lead the 10 p.m. vigil for the Solemnity of the Nativity of Jesus on Dec. 24 at the parish.

Fr. Jesus Miranda, O.P., prior of the Priory of St. Thomas Aquinas, will lead the vigil for the Solemnity of the Blessed Virgin Mary as Mother of God on Dec. 31 at 6:00 p.m.

The Santisimo Rosario Parish will follow its Sunday Mass schedule on Christmas and New Year, both of which are holy days of obligation.


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