LINGAYEN-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas told his flock during the Christmas eve Eucharistic Mass at the Stadia, CSI complex in Dagupan City not to allow intimacy with their loved ones substituted by virtual presence.
“Dati dadalawin mo sa bahay pag Pasko, and then Christmas card na lang, and then kaya wala nang Christmas card, Messenger na lang, Viber na lang, text na lang, Skype na lang,” Villegas told the faithful gathered at the Stadia in Barangay Lucao for the annual Misa de Gallo.
“Sabi ko sa inyo kanina be careful kasi yung intimacy natin, pinapalitan na ng virtual presence,” he said.
“There is no substitute, my dear children, to visiting your elderly parents. There is no substitute, my dear children, to visiting your distant loved ones… do not allow Facebook, do not allow Messenger or Viber or Twitter to substitute for that very important visit to your loved one,” he stressed.
“Christmas is a feast of real, personal intimacy and there is no substitute for it,” he stressed.
He warned, “…be careful because without knowing it, you might be allowing worldliness to take over Christmas” as he the faithful about Pope Francis’ words on the true spirit of Christmas, saying,” Worldliness is keeping Christmas hostage slowly”.
He added Christmas is a feast of defiance…a feast that takes a lot of courage… takes a lot of conviction…takes a lot of character and willpower.”
He also asked, “Kaya pa ba nating manindigan? Kaya pa ba nating manindigan kapag may mali? Kaya pa ba nating manindigan kapag may kasalanan o kaya sasabihin na lang natin tumahimik ka na lang baka gumulo pa?
He said God was born, rejected but persisted and asked: How do we look at people who reject us… who oppose us… who act differently from us? Can we have a life of principles? A life of conviction? A life of virtue?”
Villegas intoned, “Our society is looking for some brave men and women and Christmas is the time to check how brave you are to defy systems, to defy our values, to go against the current, to swim against the current.” (Eva Visperas)