“(T)he bishop pointed out that people’s materialistic concerns are taking away from the significance of the birth of the Son of God as a human.”
by Ducky Paredes
Wasn’t there a bishop who lamented that so many of us are more concerned with the materialist aspect of Christmas such that we forget what this season is all about?
There was; the bishop pointed out that people’s materialistic concerns are taking away from the significance of the birth of the Son of God as a human. Of course, the good bishop is right; but, perhaps, he ought to look at his fellow-bishops to see what they are actually doing this Christmas Season. They are on a hunger strike to try to force the congress and the senate to pass legislation that the bishops want both houses to pass.
Is the fact that these bishops concern themselves with politics during the Christmas Season rather with than the meaning and import of the birth of Jesus also a factor in making the rest of us forget why Jesus was born more than two thousand years ago?
I think that the bishops also ought look themselves in the eye to honestly ask themselves whether they are not, in fact, among the reasons that the Christ has been taken out of Christmas? When the ones who are supposed to bring Christ’s message to the people concern themselves more with more mundane political matters rather than doing their work of bringing Christ’ words to us, of course, we will forget about the spiritual aspect of Christmas!
Why shouldn’t we when the bishops themselves have apparently abandoned speaking about the Christ – at least until the congress would have passed an Agricultural Land Reform Law that will be more to their liking.
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A fellow Rotarian from my Rotary Club of Pasig sent me the following story: “A man sat at a metro station in Washington DC and started to play the violin; it was a cold January morning. He played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. During that time, since it was rush hour, it was calculated that thousands went through the station, most of them on their way to work.
“Three minutes went by and a middle aged man noticed there was musician playing. He slowed his pace and stopped for a few seconds and then
hurried on to meet his schedule.
“A minute later, the violinist received his first dollar tip: a woman threw the money in the till who, without stopping, continued to walk.
“A few minutes later, someone leaned against the wall to listen to him, but the man looked at his watch and started to walk again. Clearly he was late for work.
“The one who paid the most attention was a three year old boy. His mother hurried him along but the kid stopped to look at the violinist. Finally the mother pushed hard and the child continued to walk turning his head all the time. This action was repeated by several other children. All the parents, without exception, forced them to move on.
“In the 45 minutes that the musician played, only six persons stopped and stayed for a while. About 20 gave him money but continued to walk their normal pace. He collected $32. When he finished playing and silence took over, no one noticed it. No one applauded, nor was there any recognition.
“No one knew this — that the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the best musicians in the world. He played one of the most intricate pieces ever written with a violin worth $3.5 million.
“Two days before his playing in the subway, a Joshua Bell performance sold out at a theater in Boston at seats averaging $100.
“This is a real story. Joshua Bell playing incognito in the metro station was organized by the Washington Post as part of a social experiment about perception, taste and priorities of people.
“The outlines were: in a commonplace environment at an inappropriate hour: Do we perceive beauty? Do we stop to appreciate it? Do we recognize
talent in an unexpected context?
“One of the possible conclusions from this experience could be:
“If we do not have a moment to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in the world playing the best music ever written, how many other things are we missing?” — Rafael M. Garcia III
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The Rotary Club of Pasig had a grand time distributing gifts to the families that reside in our Phase One and Phase Two of our Gawad Kalinga project. Our sponsors were friends who gave us Unilever products, Purefoods canned goods, various groceries and rice enough for close to 200 families. There were also special packages for the children, who will outnumber the adults in any community of informal settlers.
According to the residents of the area, it used to be a dangerous place where all sorts of crimes happened on a daily basis – drugs, violence, robbery was the order of the day. Gawad Kalinga does not only build houses, it also goes into values formation for the residents who must cooperate with one another since they build their own houses.
It was a fun thing because one could sense and see the gratitude of the residents for all the good things that are coming their way – actually, through their own work and from their own new sense of community.
Families are living more harmoniously. Neighbors are friendlier with each other; in fact, there is now a feeling of kinship among people who live in the same sector and even beyond. I would never have thought this was possible a year ago when we had just begun the Pasig Rotary Gawad Kalinga project.
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The Rhett Ermita Cup will tee-off in the morning of Monday, December 22 at the Executive Course of Valley Golf and Country Club. On Tuesday, December 23, a golf tournament of Senior Care, the senior program of the Federation of Golf Clubs will be held at Greenfields, the Ayala course.
Yesterday was the year-ending Federation of Amateur Senior Golfers, Inc. (FPASGI) at Malarayat in Lipa City. Today, Saturday, my home club – Capitol Golf and Country Club – will have a senior tournament held by the FPASGI Capitol chapter.
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hvp 12.19.08)Readers who missed a column can access www.duckyparedes.com/blogs. This is updated daily. Your reactions are welcome at email@example.com