Light and Joy

by Seneca Moraleda-Puguan

Oh, December! The last month of the year has finally come. It was just like yesterday when we were looking forward to the year 2020 and now, it’s about to end. We are looking forward to a better 2021 but do we have the strength to look back and remember what 2020 has been like for all of us?The year 2020 has been a very difficult season for everyone around the world. Thousands upon thousands of families have experienced loss of loved ones due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Many nations have been ravaged by disasters, calamities and tragedies. Millions have lost jobs and businesses, homes and livelihood, joy and hope. If only we can fast forward to the coming year and forget this one, but it will be forever etched in our memories and written in history as the year everyone was forced to cover their faces with a mask and be socially distanced from each other. But despite the darkness of this season, the light of hope has continued to glimmer, and faith continued to rise. The pandemic may have taken away a lot of things from us, even life itself, but it can and never will be able to steal the most valuable things in life – unity, compassion, joy, and love. This is the reason why this Christmas, we can still celebrate, even if it hasn’t been the best year or even if we have lost all the reasons to do so. Humanity is still fighting and overcoming. We can still smile and laugh despite the heartaches and the pains. We can still hope and look forward to better days ahead even if what lies ahead is bleak and uncertain.

Christmas is more than just a holiday or a time for families to gather and give gifts to each other, it’s a season to remember the coming of the One who has come to save and seek the lost, give hope to the hopeless, breath life to the dry bones and redeem what has been destroyed. Every December, the top TV channel of the Philippines, ABS-CBN Channel 2, releases a station ID about Christmas. This year, their song ‘Ikaw and Liwanag at Ligaya’ has encouraged aching hearts and broken souls. It was written by Love Rose de Leon and Robert Labayen, and sung by some of the best singers of the country. “Ngayong pasko, magdiriwang ang mundo. Sa pag-ibig Mo’y may himala, may panibagong simula. Ngayong pasko, babalik ang saya dahil Ikaw ang Liwanag at Ligaya. Ikaw lang, Ikaw lang, Ikaw ang Liwanag at Ligaya. Sa mahabang gabi, tumigil and mundo. Sa pag-asang dala Mo, tuloy ang Pasko!”

“This Christmas, the world will celebrate, in Your love there’s a miracle, there’s a new beginning. This Christmas, happiness will be restored because You are the Light and Joy. Only You, You are the Light and Joy. Through the long night, the world stopped…but with the hope that You bring, Christmas continues!”Indeed, Christ is the Light that shines brightly in our darkest night and He is the joy in the midst of our despair. He is the ultimate reason why we can still celebrate, even if we don’t get to gather with our loved ones this year or travel to the most beautiful places. We can look back at 2020 with grace and look forward to 2021 with confidence, knowing that in every season, the Light goes before us and the Joy is in us. His love will forever keep us. May this Christmas season be the most wonderful time of the year for you and your family!

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