TO: ALL PARISH PRIESTS, PARISH ADMINISTRATORS, RECTORS, CHAPLAINS, GUEST PRIESTS, PRIESTS ON LOAN, RELIGIOUS MEN AND WOMEN, LAY ORGANIZATIONS AND MOVEMENTS, AND LAY FAITHFUL OF THE DIOCESE OF PARAÑAQUE

RE: A CHRISTMAS MESSAGE FROM HIS EXCELLENCY, MOST REV. JESSE E. MERCADO, D.D.

My dear Brothers and Sisters, All Beloved in Christ,

Today we celebrate the birth of our Lord Jesus. He, the Son of God, took on our human nature. How amazing it is for God to be born into the holy family of Joseph, a simple yet holy carpenter, and Mary, a plain yet saintly housewife!

Because of God’s radical humility, we who worship that “infant wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger” can now dare to see him in the myriad faces of the poor in our midst. This is what the Year of the Poor poses to us as a challenge: to recognize, love and serve Jesus in the poor.

Hesus na aking Kapatid, sa lupa nami’y bumalik.
Iyong mukha’y ibang iba, hindi kita nakikilala.
Tulutan Mong aking mata mamulat sa katotohanan.
Ikaw, Poon, makikilala sa taong mapagkumbaba.

Pope Francis, who will visit our country from 15 to 19 January 2015, comes to us as a pilgrim of God’s mercy and compassion for the poor. As a good shepherd, he comes to us to share Christ’s love and concern through a life of simplicity, reaching out in compassion to the suffering, especially the survivors of typhoon Yolanda.

As we rejoice with wonder at the birth of our Lord, may our prayer be:

O holy Child of Bethlehem, descend to us, we pray;
Cast out our sins and enter in, be born to us today.
We hear the Christmas angels the great glad tidings tell:
Oh, come to us, abide with us, Our Lord Emmanuel!

Maligayang Pasko po! Mapagpalang Bagong Taon 2015 sa inyong lahat!

Sincerely yours,

+JESSE E. MERCADO, D.D.
Bishop of Parañaque