It’s the busiest time of the year. And today marks the beginning of the nine-day Simbang Gabi (December 16 to 24).
Today, the Gospel is from John, Chapter 5, verses 33 to 36. The Good News Version of the Bible has the following:
33 John is the one to whom you sent your messengers, and he spoke on behalf of the truth.
34 It is not that I must have a human witness; I say this only in order that you may be saved.
35 John was like a lamp, burning and shining, and you were willing for a while to enjoy his light.
36 But I have a witness on my behalf which is even greater than the witness that John gave: what I do, that is, the deeds my Father gave me to do, these speak on my behalf and show that the Father has sent me.
Our parish priest in the Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish church is the one celebrating the Holy Mass and giving the homily.
It was a homily filled with beautiful reminders to each one, especially in our preparations for the big celebration – Christmas.
He began with a story:
A youth approached him one day and asked about the nine-day mass and wishes. Most people will try to wake up early morning for the nine consecutive mass before Christmas as a sacrifice for the “wish” they offer to God. Actually, many people make wishes and they should attend the nine days in order for their wishes to be granted.
So, there are people that, once they failed to attend mass on one of the nine days, or if they skipped a day, they won’t attend mass the following day because they believe their wishes won’t be granted since they weren’t able to complete the nine days.
So, the priest answered to him by saying, it should not be the case. Yes, you might have wishes, but it doesn’t mean you can’t get it just because you didn’t complete the nine-day Misa de Gallo. The priest pointed out that even if we put conditions to what we do, God never puts conditions. God is always faithful to us. Even if we can’t complete the nine days, if we are faithful and completely believing that he will grant us what we need, it will be given.
Key Takeaway: Christmas is not about the wishes, but it’s about being grateful and being thankful to God. Once again, God never puts conditions, because He has the greatest Love of all and He can do anything and will give you anything according to your needs in His perfect time.
Reminders about Christmas lights
After the priest said his the story, he continued to ponder about the Gospel. It’s about John being the light who prepares the way for the coming of the Star in our celebration.
To put it in a simple and very accurate analogy, he said that John is like Christmas lights. And, through the sacrament of Baptism, we become bearers of that light that John the Baptist brought.
Christmas is a day for celebration and marvel. Therefore, we must show how beautiful Christmas is to everyone by putting it up to where people can see and appreciate it. Now, what will happen if we put excessive Christmas lights in our surroundings? Do you think it’s effective. No, as it can blind us. Christmas lights are just supplementary in order for us to express a festive mood for our celebration.
Remember, we may be bearers of the light, but we are not the Star, not even John the Baptist. The ultimate Star in this celebration and in our life is Jesus Christ.
Just like John, we too need to shine in order for people to know who we are and Whom we believed in. We must make our light shine in order to let others discover the Christ that gives us the light in our heart.
However, just like the Christmas lights can effect us in two way, positive and negative, we too should to effect others in a positive way.
We as light bearers
Even though we are Christians and believers in Christ, we have live separate lives. We have chosen different vocations and even positions in life. However, we should use the position we have in order to spread the light that we received in our Baptism. Whatever status we have, we should always emanate the light that God has given us.
By virtue of our Baptism, we have been given God’s light and in that light we have different missions. May we continue to become reflective in order to maximize our talents and abilities to let our light shine brightly for others to realize who is giving us that light.
May we use every circumstance in our lives to share that light that is always burning in our hearts. Yes, we have limitations, but if we have faith and if we are humble enough, we can be the vessel of God’s grace and love for others. Let us continue to proclaim God’s presence in our life.
Lastly, always remember that we are instruments of God’s never ending Grace. Someone higher than us has always provided us the light in our hearts and that He always urges us to share this light to others. We are not the Star, Jesus is, the center of all these marvelous, amazing and wonderful celebration and festivity.
Now, what is Christmas for you? Do you believe that Jesus is the Star and the One who gives the light in our hearts? How are we going to use our light? How can we influence others to spread the Light? In Baptism we become children and followers of God. How can we live out our baptism and the light given to us by God?
Spread the Good News, share your stories with us on the comments section below.