Will there be Christmas?; Mistaken for Jesus
A misty-eyed look at yesteryear’s endorsers of soft drinks, Gloria Romero for Coke.

Will there be Christmas?; Mistaken for Jesus

FUNFARE - Ricky Lo (The Philippine Star) - November 28, 2020 - 12:00am

It’s Nov. 28, 2020, another feel-good Saturday. Forget showbiz for a while and lift your soul with more inspiring stories to light up your weekend.

1. Will There Be Christmas? (Contributed by Remember When? columnist Danny Dolor who got it from a friend clueless who the author is.)

The pastor of the parish of San Lorenzo in Pamplona had just been on the phone with Pope Francis.

“It was really very surprising. At 4:30 p.m., I was at the rectory of San Lorenzo when my cellphone rang,” explained the priest, who thought it was a business call or one of the many parishioners.

At the other end of the line was Pope Francis, who was calling to tell him that he had read his text written a few days earlier about Christmas during the coronavirus pandemic.

The text, titled Will there be Christmas? and presented as a poem, reaffirms the true meaning of the holiday. Certainly, the end of this year is likely to be less hectic than we’re used to, the priest points out. But that’s just the point; it’s an opportunity to finally experience the silence and peace of Bethlehem.

According to the priest, Pope Francis appreciated the message of the poem and told him that Christmas would be “more purified” because of the health crisis. “He told me how the Christian spirit of those days has been progressively stolen from us,” he said.

The news outlet Navarra.com published the original text written by Fr. Leoz. Here is an English translation.

Nora Aunor for Coke (‘It’s the real thing!’)

Will there be Christmas?

Of course!

More silent and with more depth.

More like unto the first one, when Jesus was born in solitude.

Without many lights on earth

but with the star of Bethlehem

shining on paths of life in its immensity.

Without colossal royal processions

but with the humility of feeling as if we are

shepherds, young and old, seeking the Truth.

Without big tables and with bitter absences

but with the presence of a God who will fill everything.

Lalaine Bennette (the fi rst Filipina to land in the Miss Universe fi nals in 1963, third runner-up to Brazil’s Ieda Maria Vargas) for Pepsi

Will there be Christmas?

Of course!

Without streets overflowing with people

with our hearts burning

for the One who is about to arrive.

Without noise or festivals,

complaints or stampedes …

but living the Mystery without fear

of the “COVID-Herod” that tries to

rob us even of the dream of waiting.

There will be Christmas because GOD is on our side

and He shares, as Christ did in a manger,

our poverty, trials, tears, anguish and orphanhood.

There will be Christmas because we need

a divine light in the midst of such darkness.

COVID-19 will never be able to reach the heart or soul of those who put their hope and their high ideal in heaven There will be Christnas!

We will sing Christmas carols!

God will be born and will bring us freedom!

(J. Leoz) https://aleteia.org/2020/11/13/pope-calls-spanish-priest-to-congratulate-him-for-will-there-be-christmas-reflection/

2. Would Someone Mistake You for Jesus? (From STAR contributor Edu Jarque who is a member of the La Salle-St. Benilde board of trustees.)

A few years ago, a group of salesmen went to a week’s regional sales convention in New York.

At the John F. Kennedy International Airport, and in their rush, with tickets and briefcases to return to Texas, one of these salesmen accidentally knocked over a table which held a display of apples. Apples flew everywhere.

Without stopping or looking back, they all managed to reach the plane in time for their nearly-missed the flight.

One of them, however, paused, took a deep breath, got in touch with his feelings and experienced compassion for the girl whose apple stand had been overturned.

He told his friends to go on without him. He told one of them to call his wife when they arrived in Nairobi and explain he was to take a later flight.

Then he returned to the terminal where the apples were all over the floor.

He was glad he did. The 16-year-old girl was totally blind! She was softly crying, tears running down her cheeks in frustration.

At the same time, she was helplessly groping for her spilled produce as the crowd watched and passed by; no one stopping and with no one caring for her plight.

The salesman knelt on the floor with her, gathered up the apples, put them back on the table and helped organize her display. As he did this, he noticed that many of them had become battered and bruised. These he set aside in another basket.

When he had finished, he pulled out his wallet and said to the girl;

“Here, please take this $100 for the damage we did. Are you okay?”

She nodded through her tears.

He continued on with, “I hope we didn’t spoil your day too badly.”

As the salesman started to walk away, the bewildered blind girl called out to him. “Mister…”

He paused and walked back to look into those blind eyes. She continued, “Are you Jesus?”

He stopped in mid-stride... and wondered.

He gently said, “No, I am nothing like Jesus. He is good, kind, caring, loving, and would never have bumped into your display in the first place.”

The girl gently nodded, “I only asked because I prayed for Jesus to help me gather the apples. He sent you to help me, so you are like Him, only He knows who will do His will. Thank you for hearing His call, Mister…”

Slowly and in deep thought, he made his way to catch the later flight with that question burning and bouncing about in his soul.

“Are you Jesus?”

Do people mistake you for Jesus?

That’s our destiny as Christians, isn’t it?

We need to be so much like Jesus that people cannot tell the difference as we live and interact with a world that is blind to His love, life and grace.

(E-mail reactions at rickylophilstar@gmail.com. For more updates, photos and videos, visit www.philstar.com/funfare or follow me on Instagram @therealrickylo.)

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