PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte has told Filipinos to serve as instruments for the betterment of those in need as the Christian faithful celebrate Christmas.
“In the midst of all the revelry and festivity, may we also remember our brothers and sisters who are in need so that we can become instruments for the betterment of their lives,” Duterte said in his Christmas message dated Dec. 25.
He acknowledged the importance of the birth of Jesus Christ who fulfilled God’s promise of a savior “who will deliver mankind from sin and bring us closer to the Lord Almighty.”
“That is why we Filipinos celebrate this occasion with so much joy and happiness. We set aside our daily routine to spend more time with our families. We share our blessings by giving gifts to our friends and loved ones and holding feasts in our homes and our communities,” Duterte said.
“Today, let us celebrate Christ’s life by finding in our hearts the true meaning of His birth and becoming the personification of the Almighty’s grace and love.”
Vice President Leni Robredo, meanwhile, called on Filipinos to remember those in Marawi who are still on the road to recovery.
She likewise appealed for prayers who those who might have lost a loved one.
In the Gospels of both Matthew and Luke, Jesus Christ was believed to have been born in a manger “because there was no place for them in the inn.”
The earliest source stating Dec. 25 as the date of the birth of Jesus Christ was Hippolytus of Rome (170–236), who wrote it very early in the third century based on the assumption that the conception of Jesus took place at the Spring Equinox, which he placed on March 25, and then added nine months.