In Puerto Rico, Christmas season extends to January 6th, because we celebrate the epiphany with the arrival of the Three Kings to see baby Jesus.
Children young and old, recollect grass during the afternoon of the 5th, and place it underneath their beds. Presents are placed underneath each bed during the night and grass will disappear magically. It’s something like the cookies that are left as snacks for Santa.
We sing songs related to the Three Kings and celebrate it as tradition mandates. Festivals are held for children all around the country.
It’s important to keep traditions alive for future generations. After almost one hundred and seventeen years of being a U.S. territory the American culture tends to rub on “a bit”. Our children mostly have to rely on television commercials to grasp the importance of Christmas, which mainly is how many great gifts we can get.
Christmas is about sacrifice and love.
If you look closely to the story told about the Three Kings, and their travel across the desert. It wasn’t easy, they endured plenty to get to glimpse at God’s grace through his greatest gift.
If one of my professors could read this, he would probably laugh at my face. Saying, “Really?”.
He graduated from one of the top schools in U.S. continental (Columbia) for Liberal Arts majors and he referred constantly at the stories told in the Bible as fiction, or folktales. He didn’t believe for one second in the Epiphany or any other “nonsense” found in the Bible. He had no faith or believed in nothing that couldn’t be proven without doubt. That’s who he was.
Sorry, Dr. Velázquez, but even though I have no reasons for believing, I do.
Believing in something (whatever it is) makes you feel better about yourself and the things and people that surround you.
With the end of Christmas and the beginning of a new year we have plenty of opportunities ahead of us. We can start over, renew and experience fresh starts.
The Three Kings had a mission and they completed it without aborting without giving in to all the obstacles they found in their way. They didn’t give up!
Why should we give up in our quests?
It really doesn’t matter if they are important or not, it’s about if they’re important to you as an individual.
Let’s name our quests and pursue them relentlessly, without caving or giving up.
For some, it could be becoming more healthy, for others buying a new car or being selfless, or pursuing a new career or any other thing. The important part is not caving.
Christmas will be back at the end of the year, just think how good it’s going to feel when you say to yourself,
“Hey, I did it.”
“I conquered my quest.”
The Three King’s festivities are there for the taking. It’s a beautiful story to share with young and old, just grasp and learn from it.
So you see “mis queridos amigos” life is what we make of it and at the end it’s all about believing in yourself and not letting go ever, never allowing others to dictate how you live or what you believe in. Having faith is so much better than believing that the worst will always happen to you.
Conquer your quest and never stop believing.
“Hasta la próxima.”
Like every year on Easter Sunday morning I went to church.
The white mantle was on our empty cross as a symbol of Jesus’ Resurrection.
No longer was Christ crucified but, in the presence of our Heavenly Father.
His time on the face of Earth had passed, he no longer would be among humans to heal not only their bodies, but their souls.
Jesus was a healer. He repaired and restored the lives of others changing them along the way.
As a man he lived on principle and died due to those same principles. His message was filled with compassion, love, social justice and among everything else diversity. His words were those of an open mind and heart.
If I wouldn’t believe this, I wouldn’t even bother to visit a church.
However I ask myself, where exactly have some of us taken a U-turn and changed all of his teachings into hatred for those who do not share our own views or beliefs. Just as an example, why do we need to attack those who proclaim that they are atheists? Don’t you think Jesus would have spoken to them, listened carefully trying to get through to them, and just making them think about what they believe in?
Are atheists are enemies?
Bill Gates is a proclaimed atheist, one of the richest man on this planet, but has one of the most generous souls I have ever heard of. He’s donated over 70 million dollars to charity. He’s made a difference in the lives of many, taking social justice to another level.
Are homosexuals are enemies?
Being a heterosexual or homosexual is all about sexual preferences. Some of us are honest to the core and just admit what they want or don’t want. I’m not sure we really need to become judges on this particular point, we just need to accept people for who they are, not how they like to do things in a sexual perspective.
Did Jesus proclaim us judges of character of others? I don’t think so, we should take a look at ourselves before we begin throwing rocks at others. Didn’t Jesus teach us this lesson, when he extended his healing hands to others no matter what they did or didn’t do.
When did we stop emulating Jesus as healers and become destroyers?
Where is our compassion?
Why cant the Easter message be one of love and kindness to one another?
Why are we nauseated just thinking in diversity?
Today we joked as we had lunch and one of my sons told me,
“Mom if Satan really exists, he’s probably incarnated in those who are full of hatred towards anyone who is different even if they have a cross and a bible in their hands.”
When is it going to stop?
Probably the day we stand strong and say, STOP!
Stop talking about hatred,
Stop being narrow-minded,
Stop speaking about non-acceptance to others,
Stop making fun of others because they are different,
and above anything else just stop using Jesus’ teaching to attack others.
So my dear friends, just raise your voice and stop hatred! Let us embrace our faith through our Lord’s true perspective. One of love, compassion and kindness and maybe then we can also become the healers of the broken society that surrounds us making a difference in our world.