PBCI-CFP Tribe celebrated Christmas in the spirit of a Franciscan benediction as we all faced the challenges caused by CoViD19 and the increasing militarization and human rights issues in our land. We enhanced our regular community lunch while observing the basic public health protocol. PBCI-CFP were able to share grocery packs to each family containing traditional Filipino food and delicacies served during Christmas Eve.

Jotham Pranza, one of our baristas at Coffee for Peace, leads in quiet community reflection as he plays Christmas hymns, allowing us to recall the Advent Story. PBCI-CFP Center, Davao City. 23 December 2020.

We determined to celebrate the coming of Christ despite our challenging socio-political contexts.

We have the second-highest number of CoViD19 infections and deaths in Southeast Asia after Indonesia. This Christmas Season, there are more than 400,000 Filipinos who have been positively confirmed as infected. We are saddened by the more than 8,000 who have died because of CoViD19. Meanwhile, our government’s pandemic lockdown is among the harshest and longest in the world.

The militarist approach and framework for enforcing the extended community quarantine led to further human rights abuses. 

Today, we decided to transform our regular community lunch into a simple Christmas celebration. We greeted each other and blessed each other with this Franciscan Benediction:

May God bless you with discomfort,
At easy answers, half-truths, and superficial relationships
So that you may live deep within your heart.

May God bless you with anger
At injustice, oppression, and exploitation of people,
So that you may work for justice, freedom and peace.

May God bless you with tears,
To shed for those who suffer pain, rejection, hunger and war,
So that you may reach out your hand to comfort them and
To turn their pain to joy

And may God bless you with enough foolishness
To believe that you can make a difference in the world,
So that you can do what others claim cannot be done.
To bring justice and kindness to all our children and the poor.


The same benediction is our greeting to you, our friends and partners.

Permanent link to this article: https://peacebuilderscommunity.org/2020/12/celebrating-advent-in-the-midst-of-covid19-challenges-and-increasing-militarization/

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