Christmas Feast Day Tradition

The Parable of the First Christmas (Part 2)

The star which the three kings had seen was formed by the angels, in which they saw a vision of a Virgin and a Child with a cross. This star which was also visible during the day became their guide towards Bethlehem until they reached the Cave of Nativity where they found the infant King. They left their camels outside upon entering the grotto. There they found the child in His mother’s arms. They laid prostrate while giving praises to the Child Jesus, the King of kings.

According to the Holy Catholic Tradition, the names of the three kings were Gaspar, Balthazar and Melchor. They reigned the lands which are known today as Iran and Iraq. King Gaspar, who was the youngest and had a fair complexion, was the first one to give his gift. He offered gold to the Lord Jesus. Next was King Balthazar, who had a dark complexion and he offered incense. Lastly, King Melchor, the oldest and had a white complexion, offered myrrh to the Infant King. At every gift offered made by the kings, the Child Jesus smiled at them and also the Virgin Mary was very thankful to the generosity that they have shown. On their return journey to their homeland, God warned them through dreams that they should not go back to Herod, so they changed their route home (Mt. 2:12).

Amidst the beautiful parable of the first Christmas, there are meaningful messages we ought to know. He was born to this world like the coming of a thief in the night, in a time that many were not expecting. That will also be the case in His Second Coming. Although a King (which is really true since the Virgin Mary and St. Joseph are descendants of King David) he chose to be born in a humble cave. The kind of wood that the Lord has chosen to be His manger was also the same type of wood that He had chosen to be His cross.

The cow and ass that entered the cave to give Him heat against the cold night, symbolizes faith and humility. The cow/ox is used in cultivating the field so that the soil will become fertile. It is liken to our faith which needed to be cultivated in order to become fertile. The ass, due to its size, is usually being used by travelers when the terrain is narrow, rocky and full of thorns. That is also what we should be if we want to follow the Lord because the road which leads to Heaven is narrow, rocky and full of thorns. We must experience pains and sufferings in order for us to follow Him; and we can only do this if we have humility within us. The camels that the three kings have brought with them could not enter the cave due to its size. If it is pride that reigns in us, we will be like the camels which only belong in an open place like the hot desert.

The poor and less fortunate are very dear to the Our Lord. The humble shepherds were the first visitors of the Holy Family which only shows that the word of Jesus is true. “How blessed are you who are poor: the Kingdom of God is yours.” (Luke 6:20) But this does not mean that the rich would never see Heaven (in fact, many saints were born from rich families), but like the Lord said that it will be easier for a camel to go though the eye of the needle than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God. The three kings did not find the Savior at once. They instead needed a star to be their guide. On the other hand, the humble and poor shepherds were told by an angel from Heaven.

The star which was seen by the three kings and in the shape of the cross symbolizes that of Faith, Hope and Charity which points toward the Holy Child in the manger.

The Three Kings represents the races in the world. Their gifts of gold, incense and myrrh tee us what we should offer to the Lord. Gold embodies true Love; incense that of Prayers; and myrrh, that of Sufferings. These are the gifts which we must also offer to Our Lord Jesus in order to please Him. We must have true love in our hearts, offer solemn prayers and accept sufferings wholeheartedly.

During Christmas, it is never important whatever things you will receive. What really matter is what you can give to your fellowmen and to God. Although things like Christmas lights, carols, gifts and delicious foods can add up to the spirit of Christmas, it is more important to welcome the birth of Our Lord Jesus with peace and goodwill in our hearts. Be ready to forgive others and also seek forgiveness for your sins. If we are suffering in our present state, just glance at the manger and remember the Parable of the First Christmas that brought deep faith, true hope and intense charity to all of us.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Christmas Feast Day Tradition

The Parable of the First Christmas (Part 1)

Rome, the mighty empire, commanded that all heads of the family must go back to their native land in order to be registered in the list of tax payers. Full of sadness, St. Joseph conveyed this message to the Virgin Mary because she was expecting a child soon and she might suffer difficulty in the journey. The Virgin Mary answered that this is the will of God. So one cold winter morning, St. Joseph, with the Virgin Mary, left Nazareth and went toward Bethlehem where he came from. Ten thousand angels accompanied them on their journey in which only the Virgin Mary could see. When they reached Bethlehem, St. Joseph knocked at the doors of his relatives and friends so they can find a place to rest for the moment but no one let them in. They even received harsh words from them. By that time St. Joseph was already filled with sorrow, but the Virgin Mary comforted him and told him that there was a cave outside the town, which was used by the shepherds, where they can lodge. And she also told him “Let us sweetly embrace adversity and gladly go where the Lord is leading us.”

Upon entering the cave that was used by the shepherds as a manger, St. Joseph and the Virgin Mary prayed and gave thanks to the Lord. St. Joseph prepared the manger by placing straws and clean linen. Afterwards, he went out of the cave and when he looked back, he saw the Virgin Mary kneeling and praying while being enveloped by a magnificent light. Full of reverence and fear, he fell prostrate to the ground and fell asleep. As the Virgin Mary kneels, her eyes were directed towards Heaven and her hands were clasped to her chest. She was clothed by a light like that of the sun, her body was filled with the Holy Spirit that was incomparable to any other creature.

When midnight came, a bright light descended from Heaven and stayed on the Virgin Mary as a brilliant fire. In a wink of an eye, the child of God was born of a Virgin Mary in a humble manger. There laid the child Jesus, God who became man, immaculate and pure. From Him radiated a light that surpasses that of the sun and the angels that surrounding Him can be heard singing the most sweetest melodies. In that moment, the world was covered with a glorious peace.

The Blessed Virgin Mary covered the tiny body of Baby Jesus with swaddling clothes and reverently said, “Welcome, my God, my Lord, and my Son.”

Right afterwards, the Virgin Mary beckoned St. Joseph to come near and see the child. When St. Joseph saw the child, he again fell prostrated to the ground while giving praises to the Child Jesus. He only stood up after much pleading of his spouse. He held and kissed the child in his arms. While he was gently laying the child in the manger, a cow and an ass entered the cave. These animals went near the child and kneeled, their warm breath helped in keeping the child warm in that cold night. The Virgin Mary and St. Joseph were moved by what they saw, tears of joy fell from their eyes and continued giving praises to God.

In that Holy Hour when Our Lord was born, there is an unexplained joy that was felt in all corners of the world. Many animals were jumping with joy, dying flowers have came back to life, trees began to bloom and gave off sweet scents and many springs were filled with water. The birth of the Messiah were conveyed to the Holy Souls by the angles, St. Michael brought the good news to the souls of the Patriarchs and Prophets who were in limbo and also to the parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary – St. Anne and St. Joachim. Another angel brought the news to St. Elizabeth and St. John the Baptist, and also to the Three Kings in the East. All home felt a different kind of joy because they knew that the Savior had come. But the most fortunate ones, because they were the first to see the Child Jesus, were the poor and humble shepherds.

In Bethlehem by that time, there were shepherds out in the filed who were tending their flocks. The Archangel Gabriel (who was also the tasked by God to announced to Virgin Mary her forthcoming motherhood) appeared before them and said: 

“Do not be afraid. Look, I bring you news of great joy, a joy to be shared by the whole people. Today in the town of David a Saviour has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. And here is a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger.” (Luke 2:10-12) 

While the archangel was saying this, choirs of angels of dazzling beauty also appeared in heaven. They were praising and singing a sweet melody: “Glory to God in the highest and peace on earth to men of good will.”

When the archangel left, the shepherds went straight toward the cave. But before that, they first prepared their gifts. It was almost dawn when they reached the manger in Bethlehem. They saw the Blessed Virgin Mary, St. Joseph and the Child Jesus in the manger. They were filled with joy and started praising the Son of God. They also gave their gifts, which were mostly animals, to the Holy Family who received their gifts with utmost humility.

(to be continued)


If anyone has ears to hear, let them hear.

A parable is a simple story, referring to something that gives deep, important and instructive lessons. It also uses an entire story to convey a spiritual lesson. It is easier for the listeners to remember a lesson from a story than for a long narrative that the listeners can easily forget.

“Why do you speak to the people in parables?”, was the question the disciples asked the Lord once when He preached to the people through the Parable of the Sower, (Matthew 13: 1-23), after which He said, “Whoever has ears let them hear.” This was the Lord’s answer to their question, Because the knowledge of the secrets of the Kingdom of Heaven has been given to you, but not to them. Whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them. This is why I speak with them in parables: Though seeing, they do not see; though hearing, they do not hear or understand.”

Jesus used parables to explain the Kingdom of God like a landowner who went out early in the morning to find a laborer in his vineyard. (Matthew 20: 1-16)

Many of Jesus’ parables represent the daily life of the simple believer such as doing good to others, “The Parable of the Good Samaritan” (Luke 10: 29-37) showing love and compassion for one’s neighbor; the woman kneading bread, “The Parable of the Leaven” (Matthew 13: 33-34); the man knocking on his neighbor’s door at midnight, “The Parable of the Friend at Night” (Luke 11: 5-13) and the remorse of a child for the sin he had committed, “The Parable of the Prodigal Son” ( Luke 15: 11-32) representing forgiveness. However, important religious matters such as the growth in faith, the importance of prayer and the meaning of love are also discussed. You can read the parables of Jesus Christ in the gospels of the Evangelists St. Matthew, St. Mark and St. Luke.

You might be asking yourself the significance of the parables in your life? Jesus, through the parables, teaches us to understand the mystery of heaven which is not given to all because only those who has ears to hear, let them hear.

The Sanhedrin was the forum for the pharisees, who believed in the resurrection and in angels, and the saducees, who are akin to new theories and philosophies. All beliefs and philosophies concerning God and His creation are allowed to be expressed here.


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