Yesterday, we had the luxury of going to River Park to do some Pre-Christmas shopping. It has been my practice to bring my family to this shopping bazaar. Instead of finding the right gifts for them, I prefer to give them a budget for buying whatever they wanted for Christmas.

This year's shopping is not as happy as last year. It was drizzling and I wasn't able to give them the same bigger amount I gave them last year.

We went home at around 9:00PM. We should have gone home and hour earlier.. that was what I planned. I should be sleeping by 8:30PM so that I can wake up by 02:30AM.

I chose to lull ten minutes after my cellphone rang at 02:30AM. But still, we arrived to see gates closed at 02:50AM. Today, the celebrant is Father Benjie. The gospel was about Mary, the Holy Mother.

He sermoned that we must all be obedient to GOD, never be doubtful of HIS plans and be a light to others as Mary was the light of the whole mankind… My mind was straying. I was feeling sleepy. Actually, I yawned twice during the sermon proper. Maybe I was just tired.

My mind was really away. The sermon was taking so long to finish. From time to time, I darted my eyes over the people below. My eyes caught sight of a girl. She was wearing a very daring boxer shirt. Aren't there any other blouse or shirt she can grab before going to church? She even had the luxury of wearing a cap! People have been forgetting their decorum inside the church premise. Too bad, the simbang gabi has already become a tambayan and meeting place of those who wanted to have an early gimmick.

I heard Father Benjie relate the feeling of Mary as they were travelling to find a safe place to deliver the baby Jesus. Sigh.. the sermon was not yet finished. I remember, I forgot to pray for one of my most important intentions yesterday and reminded myself not to forget it today. Soon after that thought, I remember, an important day is also fast arriving. I wondered if I can get one of my wishes to come true before that day.

Then the sermon was over. The celebration proceeded. During the Lord's prayer, I carefully watched over the people singing the prayer. I wanted to feel moved, but I noticed something. The people were not holding hands! But why?? It really bothered me. And so I darted my eyes again from side to side and every part of the church where there were people… They were all holding their hands up but not in unison. They looked like people allergic of each other! Ridiculous! Lucky for me, the person I am holding is a kid. And it felt like she wasn't annoyed nor uncomfortable of me holding her hand.

The Mass has ended. As we were marching out the hallway of the church, I saw a couple of memos posted:

No BAN on Ama Namin, holding hands

There it was. NO BAN but why do they do that. I asked my sister if she noticed it for the past two days, and she said yes. Maybe the church was also alarmed to see that the people did not hold hands anymore. I remember seeing the words indecorous movements in the body of the posted memo. What?? You mean to say, that even the church is not free of such scenarios? This is such a bad news. Even the House of GOD is no longer free of evil things. Such a sad thing to find out.