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My Christmas wishes

by Francis N. Tolentino

Today is everyone’s most anticipated day of the year. Everyone’s elated, in such very festive moods. Who wouldn’t be happy anyway? It’s Christmas Day!

The Christmas season is a season of wishes. Many Filipinos believe that those who are able to attend the novena masses or Simbang Gabi for nine days will be granted their heart’s wishes. For whatever reason that devotees attend the Misa de Gallo, it is their faith in the Lord’s promise that brings them to His banquet.

Christmas wishes, however, are not merely for children. Adults like us also hold wishes in our hearts – for ourselves, our families, our friends, and even for our country. I, too, have my own Christmas wishes for the Philippines, which I earnestly pray that the Lord Almighty will generously hear and accept. May I share these humble wishes with you and invite you to join me in praying for the realization of these wishes:

1. I wish for the immediate recovery of Marawi, most especially the recovery of the people’s dampened spirits. May they find light, courage, and inspiration in the overflow of support from their fellow Filipinos.

2. I wish for genuine happiness for OFW families. May they find strength despite the distance that separates them. May they remain united in love and understanding amidst being apart

3. I wish for genuine and lasting peace in Mindanao. May the parties to the age-old strife open their hearts and minds to the reality that the people have long been caught in the rift and have been laid victims all these years.

4. I wish for bountiful harvest for our farmers so that they will have plenty for their families and more than enough to share with the rest of their communities. May the Lord fill them with bodily strength to till the soil and bless their crops with abundance so that they may provide healthful nourishment for every Filipino table.

5. I wish that our youth will be blessed with even greater intellectual capacity in order for them to become instruments of progress and development when they take their turn to lead the nation. May they find inspiration in the examples of righteous leadership and draw strength from their steadfast faith in the Lord and in the fortitude of their character.

6. I wish for our senior citizens to be blessed with optimum health. May they receive the gifts of nourishment, shelter, and love from those they have served and have offered their lives. May they find happiness and dignity even as they come to their twilight years.

7. I wish that the Lord God, in His mercy and compassion, will spare the Filipinos from the devastation of natural calamities. Should these destructive forces fall upon us, may our preparedness and resilience outweigh its impacts. May those who will be struck find hope and consolation in people who are willing to offer their support for their recovery and reconstruction.

8. Lastly, I wish for President Rodrigo Duterte to always be blessed with wisdom and fortitude of spirit in order to bear the burden of leading this nation to positive change and transformation. May he continue to be gifted with the love and admiration of the Filipino people from which he draws the strength and courage to lead despite the odds.May his passion for good governance and nation building keep the country united and strong.

I wish every reader the merriest of Christmas and abundance in the dawning year!