Despite all the political chaos, it's also been a lucky week for Filipinos. Pacquiao won over Morales, and someone from Sorsogon will be taking home the P150 million Lotto grand prize (second biggest win in the history of the Philippine Lotto, I hear).
I myself am an absolute contest junkie (of the free contests, at least), and so in the spirit of this week's victory celebrations, I'm announcing my newest website: PinoyPanalo, where I'll be keeping a list of raffle draws and online contests that Pinoys can join. Mike bought me the PinoyPanalo.com domain name already; I'm just waiting for server space and an extended period of free time (free time? ano yun?) to redo everything on Wordpress.
On to more mundane things. I was doing research on how to order a keg of San Miguel, and I came across several reviews from people all over the world who consider San Miguel to be one of their favorite brands of beer of all.
One American serviceman described how, when he was stationed in Thailand in the 1970s, a delivery of San Miguel would arrive once a month, and the beer would be gone in a week. American beer abounded, but when the San Mig arrived, the soldiers would only drink San Miguel.
... Which reminds me of an old joke ....
Why is drinking Budweiser like making love in a boat? Because it's f**king next to water!
Meanwhile, I miss the old San Miguel epic commercials.
Creation displays the boundlessness of that love – that's what Christians see, that's the "design" we perceive, when we look at the natural world. The Incarnation both confirms and takes us far beyond that perception: here, in the child born to Mary of Nazareth, we see the measureless love of God in the flesh, as one of us. Like the Magi, we come to understand that God's love is not just (just!) infinite; its infinity is exaggerated, spilling beyond the Infinite to embrace the finite, so that what is flesh and finitude is drawn up into the infinite life of Love itself. It's because of the manger that we can say, with the apostle John, "God is Love."
Like John Paul II's, Benedict XVI's pontificate will be Christ-centered. Pope Benedict may stress the "scandal" of the Incarnation – the "stumbling block" and "folly" that some find in the claim that the Creator God entered the world in the person of his Son, so that the Son, through his obedient death, might reconcile the world to Love itself. Yet Pope Benedict will also insist that this scandal, which has challenged humankind since St. Paul posed it to the Corinthians, is not a scandal against reason; the mystery of the Incarnation, and the scandal of the Cross to which the Incarnation inexorably points (as old Simeon will remind Mary on Candlemas), is beyond reason. It is not irrational; but the "reason" within the mystery and the scandal can only be grasped in an act of love.
Which is, after all, the Christian meaning of "mystery."