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Christmas is not about gifts, bonuses — Cardinal Tagle

Christmas is not about gifts, bonuses — Cardinal Tagle

By CBCP News

Celebrating the start of the traditional “Simbang Gabi” in Manila, a top churchman said that Christmas is not about decorations, gifts and money but about the love of God.

In his homily at the Manila Cathedral, Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle reminded the faithful of the true essence of Christmas, which is the birth of Jesus Christ.

“Are the others excited for Jesus this Christmas? It seems not to be the case. What they are excited about is the bonus. Even if there’s no Jesus as long there’s a bonus,” Tagle said.

“They know where to shop (Christmas) sales but the Gospel seems to be not important,” he said.

The cardinal also lamented the losing tradition of home Nativity scenes. Instead, he said that people nowadays just place gifts beneath the Christmas tree.

“And when some people did not receive gifts, they would go for money instead,” he said.

The cardinal also stressed that the most Christmas is to be charitable and to take every opportunity to witness to the good news of salvation.

“We should give witness to Jesus at all times, even if it’s not Christmas,” he said.

During the Mass, Tagle also remembered all those affected by the powerful earthquake that struck parts of Mindanao on Sunday.

The 6.9 magnitude quake killed at least four people and several others injured, including a priest from the Diocese of Digos while he was visiting a far-flung community.

The tremor also damaged properties and triggered landslides as several families are still reeling from strong earthquakes that hit the region in October.

“The nation will show that despite the earthquake, we have faith— the essence of Simbang Gabi. We keep the faith and believe that Jesus, the Lord will come and save us,” he said.

Simbang Gabi or dawn Mass is a nine-day novena in preparation for Christmas.