The backdrop of the stage opens and what do we see in the second day of Simbang Gabi? The whole cast coming in from all sides to the stage and around it, encircling all of us - a throng of families from the old Testament from different generations from Abraham to the New Testament characters Joseph and Mary. How do they relate with the Christmas story and the story of our salvation?
We have to realize that Christmas is not a simple family affair where families celebrate with gifts and food. On the contrary, we have to open up to the reality of a greater family where even the poor are involved as well as persons from the past and the future.
Aside from the most common definition of a family as the smallest unit of society, a family consists of the descendants of a common progenitor. Let us admit once and for that our progenitor is God himself from all goodness comes. True, we came from the fallen Adam and Eve, but the whole humankind came from God who created us in his image and likeness. Let us do everything to live up to that fact by living holy lives.
Another definition of family is a group of persons closely related by blood. Some groups perform a formal act of being one by a blood compact. Others offer their lives for the ones they love. Being family needs a certain act of commitment by offering one's life for others. Can we do that to the person next to us?
Finally, Jesus challenges us, "Who is my family? Those that do the will of my Father is mother and sister and brother to me."
Thus, the opening salvo of people in all generations celebrating life is a picture of real joy because all these people did God's will. So will we as the new family of God. In our midst Christ will be born.