Monday, February 15, 2010

Blessed are the Poor on Chinese New Year's Day

The figure 8 appears almost like an epiphany in last night's opening of the 1st Philippine International Pyro Musical Competition at the SM Mall of Asia grounds, which was made to coincide with the revelries of Chinese New Year.

But during the mass in the morning, I noticed that the gospel was about St. Luke's Beatitudes, which subverts the entire set of values of prosperity and good luck that hovers over Chinese New Year celebrations. This makes me really curious on why on such occasion the gospel proclaims the complete opposite of what is proclaimed in eastern astrology and popular eastern culture. Consider, Lk 6:17, 20-26

“Blessed are you who are poor,
for the kingdom of God is yours.
Blessed are you who are now hungry,
for you will be satisfied.
Blessed are you who are now weeping,
for you will laugh.
Blessed are you when people hate you,
and when they exclude and insult you,
and denounce your name as evil
on account of the Son of Man.
Rejoice and leap for joy on that day!
Behold, your reward will be great in heaven.
For their ancestors treated the prophets in the same way.
But woe to you who are rich,
for you have received your consolation.
Woe to you who are filled now,
for you will be hungry.
Woe to you who laugh now,
for you will grieve and weep.
Woe to you when all speak well of you,
for their ancestors treated the false
prophets in this way.”
So, when Catholics greet you "Kung Hei Fat Choi!" on Chinese New Year, they're unwittingly being pagans.

But I guess, that doesn't prevent me from partaking on the mooncakes. Blessed are the hungry,..

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