Wednesday, December 1, 2010

FYM'S Greccio Preparation and Advent Formation

"He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world knew him not." - John 1:10

The Philippines probably has the longest Christmas season in the world.  As soon September starts until the end of January (where we usually celebrate the Feast of the Sto. Niño), Christmas songs and the Christmas spirit are abroad.

Sadly though despite the length of time for this celebration, it seems quantity bares more weight than quality. While sharing gifts, putting decoration are great activities, preparing ourselves spiritually should be far more important as well. Sadly, people remember and remind children more about Santa Claus as the generous given more than Christ's own unselfish and gracious gift of himself on Christmas day.

 People often forget that the reason we have Christmas is because of Christ. We often busy ourselves with Christmas shopping, Noche Buena and all which is definitely not wrong, however it becomes off if we forget the reason behind the season.
Last Sunday, Advent commenced. Advent is the preparation of oneself for the coming of Christ this Christmas. It is symbolically represented by 3 violet candles, one pink and white candle. Is symbolizes the hope we have in waiting for the real chosen One, which is Christ. It should be the most inspiring, spiritually exciting thing in Christian life - the coming of Christ.

Such enthusiasm of Christ's coming was shown in the example of the Seraphic Father, St. Francis of Assisi.  In 1204, St. Francis asked John or Giovanni Velita to prepare a place in Greccio where he wanted to re-enact the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ.  He had this yearning to see with his very own eyes Christ unselfish yes to become one of us and all the discomforts that the little Babe in the manger had to endure that day.

Christmas for St. Francis was a special moment to understand the depth and love that Jesus did for us. In modern times, young people,like the Franciscan Youth Movement; shares that longingness to prepare themselves and see beyond the decorative hullabaloo that this season brings.  A special formation program is given by the National fraternity to each local fraternities around the country.

A 4-week long Advent formation program that truly helps prepare one correctly to how to accept, appreciate the season of all seasons.  After all what would you give to One that has everything, but your love, attention, the wisdom and knowledge that He is the greatest gift of them all and the Number one celebrant. 

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