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Stand up for the Newborn Jesus: Christmas Message 2018

STAND UP FOR THE NEWBORN JESUS!

Message of Archbishop Socrates B Villegas to the People of God in the Archdiocese of Lingayen Dagupan on the occasion of Christmas December 25, 2018

It is Christmas. It means that God has become like us in all things except sin. God has embraced our hunger and poverty. God has joined us in our aches and adversities.  God is not far. He is near. He has emptied himself of glory and wrapped himself with our human dirt and ugliness so that we may be wrapped by his robe of mercy. It was so courageous of God to allow himself to born like us.

It is Christmas. We are happy and we have hope in spite of the darkness we see. This darkness is not godly. This is the same darkness that rejected Christ when he was born two thousand years ago.

There is violence against political opponents. The statistics of unsolved murders continues to rise. There are more drugs to buy. There are more criminals set free and the opponents are threatened with imprisonment. Everything is turned into a bad joke. The poor are poorer and the rich are getting poor. We scold children who bully their fellow children but we laugh at elderly bullies who flaunt vulgar humor. We your bishops are called “walang silbi” and you have been encouraged to kill us. You are admonished to stay home and not go to the Church because you will just see hypocrites at Mass who worship a stupid God. Accusations are hurled at innocent people without any basis at all. Fake news is unrelenting and the bashers against the truthful are shameless. Where are the true believers of Christ?

How long must we endure these? What is Christmas for? Is this what we have become as a Catholic nation? The answer must be NO! We must resist the spread of vulgarity and the contagion of violence. There is no Christmas hope for the cowards and the timid. Christmas demands that we stand up bravely for the Lord!

Christmas is about the courage of God to defeat evil by the power of love. The greater enemy to fight is cowardice and timidity. Tolerance is not a virtue. Tolerance of evil makes us accomplices. It is vulgar to laugh at vulgarity!

Christmas proclaims that the “walang silbi” are cared for not killed. The infants and the sick, the handicapped and the elderly, they seem walang silbi, but they are our treasures as a nation. This is what the angels taught when they announced Christ’s birth. How we treat the weak shows our real character. Let us resist the culture of abuse with the mercy and tenderness of Christ.

Christmas teaches us that the killing people who kill people is not human. Killing is the solution offered by jungle justice not by civilized societies. Herod wanted to kill Goodness and Love. We must be like the angel who led the Child and his parents into safety away from murder. In solving problems by killing, we side with Herod not with Christ.

Christmas invites us to return to childlike innocence and resist the erosion of good manners. There is joy in being innocent like the Child in the manger. When we hear vulgarity, stand up and proclaim the greater power of the innocence of a child. When we hear children curse, turn them away from the bad examples they see and bring them to the Child in the crib. Vulgarity is contrary to Christmas.

When women are taunted for being women, let us confront this violence against womanhood through the nobility of the Virgin Mary. When violent words are thrown at women and indecent gestures are offered to them, speak up and defend. The spirit of Christmas is contrary to the indecencies that our women are being subjected to.

Christmas is a feast of joy. It must also be a feast of courage—courage to stand up for Jesus and defend what He taught us through the Christmas story. Let us stand up against vulgarity with the powerful innocence of the Christ Child. Let us defend human life by siding with Jesus and not applauding Herod. Let us stand up for womanhood best taught us by the purity of the Virgin Mary.

Jesus took the courage to become like us. Let us now take fullest courage to stand up for what he taught us. Christmas is not a shabu to make us forget for few moments our aches and woes. The greatest story ever told must be retold with greatest courage. Stand up for life. Stand up for purity. Stand up for human dignity. We cannot find Christmas joy in timidity and cowardice. Stand up and choose the Lord!

Take courage so that your Christmas may be truly merry!

From the Cathedral of Saint John the Evangelist, Dagupan City, December 24, 2018

+SOCRATES B. VILLEGAS

Archbishop of Lingayen Dagupan

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PANGASINAN TRANSLATION

IYAGEL SO KAPANYANAK A JESUS!

Message of Archbishop Socrates B Villegas to the People of God in the Archdiocese of Lingayen Dagupan on the occasion of Christmas December 25, 2018

Christmas la. Say kabaliksan to ya et say Dios so nagmaliw a singa sikatayo likud ed kasalanan. Nilakap na Dios ingen so kairapan tan eras tayo. Akikasakey so Dios ed saray likliknaen tan saray segsegang tayo. Aliwan arawi so Dios. Say Dios so asingger ed sikatayo. Nilakseb To so kagalangan tan binalkot Toy Dili To na dutak tan kakapoyan na too pian nabalkot tayo na Kawes Toy Panangasi. Ontan lay inkabiskeg na linawa’y Dios diad inpanabuloy Toy Dili ton niyanak a singa sikatayo.

Christmas la. Maliket tan walay ilalo tayo anggaman say nanenengneng tayo et kabilongetan. Sayan kabilongetan et aliwan maka-Dios. Sayan kabilongetan et nan-waklit ed si Cristo nen Sikato so inyanak dwan libon taon la so apalabas.

Walay panag-paoges ed saray kalaban ed politika. Ondadakel iray bilang na panag-patey ya anggapo’y kalinewan. Ondarakel so drogan sasaliwen. Ondarakel iray kriminal ya makakapaway tan saray kalaban so tataktakoten ya ipa-priso. Amin la et pagmamaliwen ya makapoy a panag-paelek. Mas mani-irap iray walad kairapan tan saray mayaman so nanairapan met la. Pamapasnokan tayo ray mamo-bully ya ogogaw balet elekan tayo labat iray matatakken ya mamo-bully tan manlalastog ed say bastos ya panag-paelek.

Sikami ran Obispo yo so tinawag ya “walang silbi” o “anggapoy kakanaan”. Tan sikayo so iinganyoen ya pateyen kami. Babagaan ton sikayo so manayam et abong tan ag onlad Simbaan lapud wala ray naneng-neng yon hipokrito ed Misa ya mangidadayew ed Dios ya tinawag a “istupido”. Wala ray palsa ed inosenten totoo ya anggapoy balot a katunongan. Fake news so ag-ontonda tan saray bashers so anggapoy kababaingan da ed saray walad katwaan. Kawalaan daray twan mananisia nen Cristo?

Anggan kapigan tayon tepelan iraya? Anto so kabaliksan na Christmas? Onya la kasi so nagmaliwan tayo lan bansan sakey a Katoliko? Say nepeg ya ebat et ANDI! Nepeg ya labanan so ikakayat na kinabastos tan violence. Anggapoy ilalo na Christmas para saray matakot tan inkatalaw. Kaukolan na Christmas ya sikatayo so masebeg ya onalagey para say Katawan!

Say Christmas et nipakaar ed say kabiskegan na linawa na Dios ya taloen so kaogsan na pakapanyari na panangaro. Say mas baleg ya kalabanen et say pakatatakot tan inkatalaw. Say panag-paolian ed say kaogsan et pagmamaliwen ton minononong tayod kaogsan. Bastos so onelek ed kabastosan!

Ibebelyaw na Christmas ya saray “walang silbi” so asikasoen, aliwan pateyen. Saray ogogaw tan mansasakit, saray matakken ya bibirbiren ya “walang silbi, so kayamanan na bansa tayo. Saya so inbangat na saray anghel nen ipaamta day inkianank nen Cristo. No panon so panag-asikaso tayo rad saray “walang silbi” so mangibabalikas na twan walna tayo. Labanan tayo so kultura na panag-abuso diad panamegley na panangasi tan panag-abagey nen Cristo.

Ibabangat na Christmas ya say panagpatey na toon managpatey et  kagagaway aliwan too. Say panagpatey so solusyon na say katongan diad takel, aliwan sibilisadon totoo. Labay nen Herodes ya pateyen so Kamaungan tan Panangaro. Nepeg ya singa tayo anghel ya angiwanwan tan mangiyagel ed say Ogaw tan say ateng To ed pakarisgo’d panagpatey. Pipilaan tayo si Herodes aliwan si Cristo no say solusyon tayod saray problema et panagpatey.

Tatangoyoren itayo na Christmas ya ompawil ed say inka-inosente na ogaw tan labanan so pakadederal na maong ya ogali. Walay liket ed say inka-inosente a singa samay Ogaw ed atotong. No walay narengel tayon kabastosan, labanan tan ibawag so mas mabiskeg a pakapanyari na inka-inosente na ogaw. No walay narengel tayon ogogaw ya manaayew, iyarawi rad makapoy ya oliran ya naneneng-neng da tan awiten irad say Ogaw ya walad atotong. Say panag-ayew tan inkabastos so sumlang ed Christmas.

No saray bibii so babalawen lapud say inka-bii ra, arapen iyan makapoy ya gawan laban ed saray bibii diad panamegley na inkaoyamo nen Birhen Maria. No wala ray makasinagem ya salita so ibabagad saray bibii tan aliwaliwan kiwas so ipapanengneng ed sikara, mansalita tan ilaban ira. Say ispirito na Christmas et sumlang ed say panag-bastos ed saray bibii tayo.

Say Christmas et fiesta na liket. Saya met komon et fiesta na kabiskegan na linawa — masibeg ya onalagey para si Jesus tan ilaban iray bangat To diad pananamegley na istorya na Christmas. Labanan tayo so kabastosan diad panamegley na pakapanyari na inka-inosente nen Niño Jesus. Iyagel tayo’y inkabii unong ed say bangat na inkalimgas nen Birhen Maria.

Masibeg ya nagmaliw a too si Jesus. Walad sikatayo so kagnapan a biskeg na linawa ya mangiyagel ed saray inbangat Tod sikatayo. Say Christmas et aliwan shabu pian nalingwanan tayo iray sakit tan pagpaga tayo. Say sankamaongan ya istoryan insalaysay so nepeg ya uliten lamet ed sankabalegan a biskeg na linawa. Iyagel so bilay. Iyagel so kalimgasan. Iyagel so dignidad. Ag naalmo so liket na Christmas ed takot tan inkatalaw. Mangiyagel tan pilien so Katawan!

Ag ontatakot pian say Christmas yo et twan maliket!

Diad Katedral na San Juan Ibanghelista, Dagupan City, Disiembre 24, 2018.

+SOCRATES B. VILLEGAS

Arsobispo na Lingayen Dagupan

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