John 1, 1-18: What's Next?
At the end of Christmas Day, when the Misa de Aguinaldo is over, when the Midnight Mass has been done, and text messaging becomes easier from last night, and the celebrations become sober, and we have all opened our gifts, a thought sometimes comes to me: What’s next?
What’s next? Christmas in the
Yes, what’s next? After we have eaten the last piece of the Christmas cake, or the last chunk of lechon from the table, or the last plate of spaghetti, we ask, what’s next? After all the magic of the season, what’s next?
Two things come to me: It is the why of Christmas. First, Christmas reminds us of our faith in Christ, the reason for the celebration.
There is one Christmas Carol that has always baffled me. Have you ever wondered about THE TWELVE DAYS OF CHRISTMAS? What in the world do leaping lords, French hens, swimming swans, and especially the partridge who won't come out of the pear tree have to do with Christmas?
From 1558 until 1829, Roman Catholics in
1. The partridge in a pear tree was Jesus Christ.
2. Two turtledoves were the Old and New Testaments
3. Three French hens stood for faith, hope and love.
4. The four calling birds were the four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke & John.
5. The five golden rings recalled the Torah or Law, the first five books of the Old Testament.
6. The six geese a-laying stood for the six days of creation.
7. Seven swans a-swimming represented the seven sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist, Reconciliation, Anointing of the Sick, Marriage and Holy Orders.
8. The eight maids a-milking were the eight beatitudes.
9. Nine ladies dancing were the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit: Love, Joy,
Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self
10. The ten lords a-leaping were the Ten Commandments.
11. The eleven pipers piping stood for the eleven faithful disciples.
12. The twelve drummers drumming symbolized the twelve points of belief in The Apostles' Creed.
And finally, we remember why Christmas is celebrated. In the Gospels, the story of Christmas, or the Infancy Narratives tell us that God has always extended gracious mercy even to sinners. God has always lifted the lowly and has always heard the prayers of the faithful and obedient. God has always willed that the revelation given to the chosen holy ones be shared more widely for the glory of
And so we ask: What’s next? There's a Christmas song called, “The Work of Christmas” in BukasPalad's album "Pasko Na!" The lyrics is below:
When the song of angels is stilled,
When the star in the sky in gone,
When the prince and princess are home,
When the shepherds are back with their flock,
The work of Christmas begins.
To find lost, to heal the broken,
To feed the hungry, free the prisoners,
To rebuild nations.
To bring peace among brothers,
To make music in the heart.
Perhaps that is what’s next. It is a cliché to say that Christmas is every day. But it is true. We make people experience God’s gracious love to all of us sinners, by sending His only beloved Son, and our faith reminds us that it is something that we should do and put into practice.
One final thought: In
Christmas is not about expecting gifts. We teach children to expect gifts. We tell them that Christmas becomes meaningful if we receive many gifts.
Christmas, rather, is about thanksgiving. Our parents have dedicated their lives for us, don’t you think that Christmas is the time to thank them: it is our turn to give gifts to them.
Because, it is in giving that we receive. And it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
*information source from Fr. William J. Bausch, retired pastor and nationally recognized speaker, storyteller, and workshop leader, is author of over 10 books on Catholic ministry, history and pastoral practice. He is the 1996 recipient of the President's Award from the National Federation of Priests' Councils.