Thursday, December 3, 2015

Advent Announcement - Nativity in the Home, Pray the Novena

The NCW had their last night. The Advent announcement was started by Kiko Arguello, and this announcement was passed on to the Head Catechists and then to the communities. The announcement was mainly about the coming of Christ. Christmas has become so commercialized that many often forget that the reason for the season is Jesus. The Catechists encouraged the brothers to pull out the Belen. So, this year, the NCW communities are encouraged to set up a beautiful nativity in their homes and to pray the novena. After the novena, one of the children in the family is to take the statue of the baby Jesus to present to all family members present in the novena so they could "amen" the baby Jesus. A family that prays together stays together.

Of course, we also heard many things during the announcement. According to our catechists, Kiko Arguello also warned the brothers to stay away from chatting on the social media. We were encourage to phone the person rather than texting the person. To hear the human voice saying "I miss you" has more meaning than reading it in a text. Kiko said that the internet itself is not evil, but people use it for good or bad purposes. For example, pornography is found in the Internet and can destroy many marriages. "Chatting" in the social media can also destroy lives. Even the Attorney General warns children of "chatting" on the social media for they could be chatting with a sexual predator. It can be dangerous to allow a child to have a computer in his/her bedroom. The computer should always be in an area (such as the living room) where the parents can see what the child is doing on the computer.

The announcement was also about the rejection of Christianity. In France, 94% of the people are Catholics; however, the nativity has been banned. You can read all about it here. In Texas and in many schools across America, Christian children are being suspended for wearing a cross or crucifix to school. Texas is known as the buckle of the Bible belt where there are more Roman Catholics and Southern Baptists; yet, a young Catholic boy was suspended from school for wearing a cross. You can read all about it here. In Guam, most of our senators are Catholics who passed the same sex marriage law. All these laws passed by Catholic countries only goes to show that Catholics are rejecting their Christian faith despite that some of them attend Sunday Mass.

A Catholic who leads a double life is a serious thing. How can a Catholic go to Sunday Mass; yet, see nothing wrong with hating his brother? How can a Catholic receive Jesus in the Eucharist; yet, see nothing wrong with banning the nativity in public? The rejection of Christianity comes from Christians themselves. This is why the Pope says that Christianity in Europe (and probably even in the U.S.) needs to be re-evangelized. With the passage of same sex marriage on Guam, it appears that even Guam needs to be re-evangelized. Thirty years ago, people on Guam understood that same sex marriage was wrong. Today, it is acceptable. On Christ's second coming, He is not going to ask us where we put the tabernacle or where we celebrated Mass. He is not going to question us on whether we received Him by hand or tongue during the Eucharist.

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