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PH peace, progress Rody’s Christmas wish

“My beloved countrymen, as we remember the birth of our savior Jesus Christ, let us celebrate with genuine compassion and desire to foster hopes in our hearts,” Duterte said in a video message. “This Yuledtide season, I wish for peace, order, progress, for our country,” he added.

Time-tested traditions that have been observed and passed on by generations of Filipinos will take center stage tonight as the nation celebrates Christmas Eve.

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The birth of Jesus

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This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about. When his mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found with child through the Holy Spirit. Joseph her husband, since he was a righteous man, yet unwilling to expose her to shame, decided to divorce her quietly. Such was his intention when, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home. For it is through the Holy Spirit that this child has been conceived in her. She will bear a son and you are to name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet:/ Behold, the virgin shall be with child and bear a son,/ and they shall name him Emmanuel,/ which means, “God is with us.” When Joseph awoke, he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took his wife into his home.

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TODAY is the first Sunday of Advent, the Sunday of Hope to Christians, and it comes at a time of great troubles and problems in our world and in our country.

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Missionaries at home

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One Sunday morning after saying Mass at the Sacred Heart Church in Kamuning some years ago, a couple approached me, their baby cuddled by the wife. “Father, we’re from this parish,” they greeted.

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The narrow door

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Some years ago, I served as a chaplain to a group of pilgrims to the Holy Land. Among the destinations we visited was the tomb of King David in Jerusalem.

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