THE SYMBOLISM OF CHRISTMAS TREE LIGHTING CEREMONY IN CICM SCHOOLS
Reflections on the 153rd CICM Foundation Anniversary and First Sunday of Advent
“The Congregation is dedicated to the Incarnate Word,
under the name and patronage of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.”
CICM Constitutions, Chapter I, Article I
While we anticipate this year’s celebration of Christmas, let us remember the reason for this joyous season: It is Christ, the wisdom of God, whom we celebrate. Let us learn from Him; let us follow Him. We are therefore to build our lives and hopes on His wisdom, which tells us to always look at the bright side of life with profound thanks in our hearts. God is with us; let us cheerfully journey in His abiding presence.
“Come, let us walk in the light of the Lord” (Isaiah 2:5). These words of the Prophet Isaiah provide us with lucid insights into the symbolism of lighting the Christmas tree. The ceremonial lighting of Christmas tree in CICM schools to usher in the Christmas season should signify the willingness of our schools as faith communities to walk the path of Christ. Likewise this yuletide ritual should be seen as an invitation to a communal renewal of faith in the Incarnate Word, whose becoming one of us teaches us solidarity with the poor. More importantly, let us reflect on the profound truth that the Christmas tree which announces Christ’s birth ultimately concludes with His death on the cross, the Tree of Life, from where He saved us.
With the lighting of the Christmas tree, we are summoned to radiate the warmth and peace of Christ to one another, especially to those in need of hope and inspiration in our midst. For CICM schools, this means the joy to embrace their mission and identity and to keep its fervor alive in the service of those most vulnerable to exclusion.
To our students, faculty, and administrators in our CICM schools, let the bright light of Christ inspire you to constantly seek what is true, good, and beautiful; always strive for what is Christ-like in all your endeavors.
Happy CICM Day and Advanced Merry Christmas!
28 and 29 November 2015.
Jeffrey M. Centeno, PhD., is the Director of Planning, Quality, Assurance, and Communications Office of Saint Louis University, Baguio City