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Local paper touts Christmas in China

HONG KONG (SE): “In China, Christianity is still a minority religion, but it has come a long way since first being introduced by missionaries in the seventh century. Over the past 200 years, it has gained significant influence,” a short article published by the Global Times in China in the after shadow of the Christmas celebrations notes.
 

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What would Jesus make of our Christmas?

If Jesus were to visit us again, how puzzled he would be with our Christmas. He would be wondering, who is this Santa who seems to be everywhere, a feel-good guy certainly, but wanting us to spend up big.
 
Yet for all the commercialism of this season, for many people around the world, whatever their belief or religion, Christmas is rather a hopeful celebration of good will among peoples and a time for families and friends to gather, often expressing their love and esteem in gift-giving.








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Fourth Sunday of Advent; Christmas; Octave of Christmas

DECEMBER 24 – FOURTH SUNDAY OF ADVENT. 
Creed, preface for Advent II, Mass of the Sunday (violet).  
Readings: 2 Samuel 7:1-5, 8b-12, 14a, 16; Romans 16:25-27; Luke 1:26-38.
 
DECEMBER 25 – CHRISTMAS. 
Mass of  Christmas, Gloria, Creed, preface for Christmas (white). 
Readings (Christmas Eve): Isaiah 9:1-6; Titus 2:11-14; Luke 2:1-14. 
Readings (Morning): Isaiah 62:11-12; Titus 3:4-7; Luke 2:15-20; 








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Fourth Sunday of Advent; Christmas; Octave of Christmas

DECEMBER 24 – FOURTH SUNDAY OF ADVENT. 
Creed, preface for Advent II, Mass of the Sunday (violet).  
Readings: 2 Samuel 7:1-5, 8b-12, 14a, 16; Romans 16:25-27; Luke 1:26-38.
 
DECEMBER 25 – CHRISTMAS. 
Mass of  Christmas, Gloria, Creed, preface for Christmas (white). 
Readings (Christmas Eve): Isaiah 9:1-6; Titus 2:11-14; Luke 2:1-14. 
Readings (Morning): Isaiah 62:11-12; Titus 3:4-7; Luke 2:15-20; 








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Nazareth cancels Christmas

Nazareth (SE): The mayor of Nazareth, Ali Salam, announced on December 14 that all Christmas celebrations in the hometown of Jesus Christ have been cancelled in response to the announcement by the president of the United States of America (US), Donald Trump, that he intends to move his embassy to Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, effectively recognising it as the capital city of the land.
 

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The Christmas lights of the hill

Hiking uphill through the hot tropical afternoon to the Aeta village of Baliwit, San Marcelino, carrying our loaded backpacks was a challenge in itself. But the happy thought of bringing some Christmas cheer into the lives of the extremely poor indigenous people kept us going.

Our mission was to bring Christmas lights into their lives. For us, we discovered it to be inspiring and encouraging.








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A fulfilling Christmas joy

What is it that makes Christmas so beautiful, so cheerful and such a happy time, especially for children? It has to be the gift-giving, the time when children can look forward to receiving signs of love and care, as well as share a bit.

Children in some well-off families receive so many gifts through the year that getting more has no special impact on them. But there are the children in poor families to whom a gift at Christmas is a joy they never forget, because they have so little in this world.








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Ordeal of Mass at Christmas

HONG KONG (UCAN): For both the official and unofficial Church communities in China, Christmas Eve Masses proved to be an ordeal.

In Beijing, it often meant competing for admission and queuing for mandatory security checks for hours at the four downtown churches, popularly known as the North, South, East and West Churches.

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Jesus is source of hope for world

VATICAN (SE): “The birth of Christ is a reminder for Christians to take a moment and reflect on the hope of salvation given by God to the world,” Pope Francis said in the run up to Christmas at his weekly general audience on December 21.

He said that those who are humble and poor, like the shepherds who were the first to visit the baby Jesus, come to realise that the promise of hope is fulfilled by trusting in God and not from personal securities or especially material goods.

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Pope on preparing for Christmas

VATICAN (SE): As the Church set about preparing to celebrate Christmas at the beginning of Advent, Pope Francis emphasised in his homily at the morning Mass in his home in Domus Sanctae Marthae (St. Martha’s House) on November 27 that living Christmas is not a theory or philosophy, but sheer hard work.

He pointed out that it is not always about the things we do, but often what we refrain from doing, especially in irritating times.

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