Fr Bobby Yap's Christmas message to the Ateneo community (Dec 2020)
21 Dec 2020
21 December 2020
We may be inclined to easily dismiss 2020 as an “annus horribilis”: a year of unexpected hardships, unnecessary losses, and widespread suffering.
But tough as it was, 2020 has also given us reasons to smile, celebrate, and hope.
In particular, I am proud of how Ateneo de Manila came together and showed leadership, innovation, and empathy in responding to challenges that were suddenly thrust upon us.
I am very heartened to see how our students, faculty, employees, and alumni exhibited what it really means to be persons-for-others, whether doing important academic and research work, moving towards a reimagined school year, or mobilizing to help those worst affected by these crises.
However, our struggles will not magically disappear when the calendar turns to January 1, 2021.
What we need is to sustain that energy and spirit of community, creativity, and compassion Ateneans exhibited in 2020, and that it continues and grows into the new year.
The call for us to be better individuals, better neighbors, and better citizens persists, as we work towards rebuilding communities and lives.
I hope we all stay strong even in the face of adversity, energized by our Catholic faith and our strong bond of community. Let us continue to support and encourage each other in the spirit of cura personalis, even through a simple prayer or word of encouragement.
May we all stay generous, compassionate, and caring. Let us not get tired of sharing our time, effort, and resources in helping others, most especially to those who are in most need.
And in this light, let us take the Christmas holiday as an opportunity to pause and reflect on the past 12 months.
Despite what appears to be a terrible year, let us not let go of the year without it blessing us, even the tiniest bit.
Even in the hardest of struggles and the darkest of days, God is telling us something, and hopefully with some introspection and reflection we hear what He is trying to say to us.
And once we hear that message, even that softest of whispers from the Lord, may we take that with us as we move on to 2021, along with the lessons we’ve learned, and accompanied by a fresh outlook and a hopeful spirit.
May we all continue to feel and discover God in all things, even in suffering and crisis, and I hope that 2020’s highs and lows has further deepened our faith and relationship with Him.
Maligayang Pasko, at isang mapayapang Bagong Taon.
Nawa’y pagpalain tayong lahat ng Maykapal sa darating na taon.
03 Dec 2022