So This is Christmas

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So this is Christmas
And what have you done
Another year over
And a new one just begun
And so this is Christmas
I hope you have fun
The near and the dear ones
The old and the young

A very merry Christmas
And a happy New Year
Let’s hope it’s a good one
Without any fear

And so this is Christmas
For weak and for strong
For rich and the poor ones
The war is so long
And so happy Christmas
For black and for white
For yellow and red ones
Let’s stop all the fight

A very merry Christmas
And a happy New Year
Let’s hope it’s a good one
Without any fear

And so this is Christmas
And what have we done
Another year over
And a new one just begun
And so happy Christmas
I hope you have fun
The near and the dear ones
The old and the young

A very merry Christmas
And a happy New Year
Let’s hope it’s a good one
Without any fear

And so this is Christmas
And what have we done
Another year over
And a new one just begun

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4th Sunday of Advent 2017 – Obedience As We Wait

The whole season of Advent is one of anticipation, of eager awaiting of Jesus Christ, the Messiah who brings hope, peace, joy and salvation to all mankind. Like the Israelites in Babylon exiled from Jerusalem in the first reading, on earth we are all waiting for our heavenly homeland feeling many a time, lost, abandoned and disillusioned.

The savior of all, whom the prophets of the past spoke about in the second reading, has been born in utter simplicity as a baby, a human being, like us. The great and almighty Word of God, the Son of the Father, Jesus, has chosen to live among sinful and ungrateful humanity. From day one, Jesus was rejected and deprived of every place of shelter in his town and visited by “shepherds” who were despised outcasts (the “gypsies” or illegal immigrants of that time). If Jesus was born in similar conditions today, where would that be?

The word became flesh and dwelt among us precisely to be present in the miseries of the world. Jesus desires to bless every person and liberate all who are enslaved by fear, hatred, anger, loneliness, money, power, status, addictions, oppression, hopelessness, indifference, passivity in life, passions of the flesh, etc. Whether we are aware or not, we are often times enslaved to something or someone, and unable to live in the light, in grace and truth.

Are you willing to accept that Jesus can fulfill your life more than anything or anyone of this earth can? Or are you going to reject Him from entering fully into your life and cause him to sleep out in the cold again with nowhere to rest his head?

When we learn to anticipate Jesus’ coming fully into our lives with the right spirit, we will surely want to embrace rather than reject Him.

Blessed Christmas! http://www.one.org.sg

T’was The Night Before Christmas

According to legend, Clement Clarke Moore wrote his immortal poem, A Visit from St. Nicholas, also known as The Night Before Christmas, for his family on Christmas Eve 1822. He never intended that it be published, but a family friend, Miss Harriet Butler, learned of the poem sometime later from Moore’s children. She copied it into her album, and submitted it to the editor of the Troy (New York) Sentinel where it made its first appearance in print on December 23, 1823. Soon, the poem began to be reprinted in other newspapers, almanacs and magazines, with the first appearance in a book in The New York Book of Poetry, edited by Charles Fenno Hoffman, in 1837.

It was not until 1844, however, that Moore himself acknowledged authorship in a volume of his poetry entitled Poems, published at the request of his children. One hundred and eighty years later it is the most-published, most-read, most-memorized and most-collected book in all of Christmas literature.

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#MoralStory: A Gift in the Trees

God shows his love for us in many ways. Something that may not seem extraordinary to one person might appear as a miracle for someone else. On Christmas Eve 1997, that is exactly how I saw things, though not at first. At first I was feeling too sorry for myself to see anything but my own unhappiness.

The holiday season is a popular time for couples to get engaged. I had been in three long-term relationships by the time I was 29, but none of them had ever produced a marriage proposal. I had always considered myself a loyal, caring, unselfish girlfriend, and boyfriends often told me as much after the relationship had ended. I always seemed to be “the one that got away,” and I began to feel like I was special only once the relationship was over. After a while, I started to feel like I just wasn’t worth a lifetime commitment.

At the age of 29, I decided I needed to take my own happiness into consideration. It took a couple years of dating mistakes, but I finally figured out how to respect my own needs and not just worry about the needs of my partner. That’s when, at the age of 31, I met Paul. He was a wonderful person who didn’t expect me to take care of him. He just wanted to be with me, and he respected me for who I was. Everything felt right between us, and I figured I had finally found a man I could marry.

During our second Christmas together, I thought Paul might propose. On December 22, we ventured onto the topic of marriage. Paul said that he did see himself marrying me, but the timing was not good “right now.” I couldn’t help but feel sorry for myself. So many of my friends had received proposals and engagement rings, but I had never received either. I was at the point where I figured maybe marriage just wasn’t in the cards for me.Read More »

Ready The Way

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“Ready the way of the Lord,
Ready the way of the Lord.”
A voice cries out in the wilderness:
“Ready the way of the Lord.”

Let every valley be filled,
Let every valley be filled.
Let every mountain be humbled,
Let every valley be filled.

Ref.
Here is your God,
coming with your vindication.
Look and behold the saving power of God.

Desert and waste land will bloom,
Desert and waste land will bloom.
Glory and splendor will fill the land,
Desert and waste land will bloom.

Those who are blind will then see,
Those who are deaf will then hear.
Those who are lame will then leap for joy,
Those who are mute will then sing.

Back to Ref.

Strengthen the ones who are weak,
Strengthen the ones who are weak.
Say to the frightened: “Have courage.”
Strengthen the ones who are weak.

Back to Ref.

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#ShortNews: Largely Catholic Asian nation elects Muslim prime minister

Although it is going through a turbulent political phase and its newborn government is in difficulty, Mari Bin Amudi Alkatiri is a Muslim Prime Minister who leads a country with a large Catholic majority.

“Despite having a religious faith different from that of the majority of the population, in a pluralist society like that of East Timor, Alkatiri has not encountered prejudices on behalf of the main political parties or leaders. His management skills, as well as his reputation for being attentive to fiscal policies, have attracted many citizens, including leaders of the Catholic Church. Bishop Basilio do Nascimento, at the head of the diocese of Baucau, for example, commented favorably on the fact that Alkatiri is the Prime Minister of the country”.

Read More : http://www.fides.org/en/news/63389-ASIA_EAST_TIMOR_A_Muslim_Prime_Minister_in_a_nation_with_a_Catholic_majority

#ShortNews: Shrinking majority of Americans believe that biblical account of birth of Jesus depicts actual events

A rising share of Americans say they do not have a preference about how they are greeted in stores during the holiday season, while a declining percentage prefer to have stores greet them with “merry Christmas.” Today, fully half of the U.S. public (52%) says that a business’ choice of holiday greeting does not matter to them, while roughly a third (32%) prefers for stores and businesses to greet customers with “merry Christmas” during the holidays. When this question was first asked over a decade ago, and then again in 2012, roughly equal shares expressed a preference for “merry Christmas” and said it didn’t matter.

When asked directly, most respondents in the new poll say they think religious aspects of Christmas are emphasized less in American society today than in the past. But relatively few Americans both perceive this trend and are bothered by it.

Read More : http://www.pewforum.org/2017/12/12/americans-say-religious-aspects-of-christmas-are-declining-in-public-life/

 

#ShortNews: Pope Francis preaches on God’s tenderness

The tenderness of God, as his defining trait, was at the heart of the Pope’s homily this morning at Mass at the Casa Santa Marta. The theme was taken from the first reading from the Book of the Prophet Isaiah and the psalm where God says of himself: “… his tenderness expands over all creatures”.

“It seems that our God wants to sing us a lullaby. Our God is gifted at this. His tenderness is this: he is a father and a mother. Many times he said: “But if a mother forgets her son, I will not forget you. He carries us in his deep within. He is the God who with this dialogue makes himself small to make us understand, to make us trust in him and we can tell him with the courage of Paul who changes the word and says: “, Abba Father”. Father … It’s the tenderness of God.”

The great that becomes small and the small that is great.

Read More : http://en.radiovaticana.va/news/2017/12/14/pope_at_mass_the_tenderness_of_god_is_father_and_mother/1354759