Throughout this time, we journeyed in our personal experience of Advent. An experience of hope, peace and joy in our expectation for the promise of God to be fulfilled in our life.
This promise has a face and that is Jesus coming to us in a form of a baby. He reflects the brightness of God’s glory and the exact likeness of God’s own being, sustaining the universe with His powerful word (Hebrews 1:3)The face of a God who is Emmanuel – God with us. “He emptied Himself, taking the form of a slave, coming in human likeness and found in human appearance.” (Phil 2:7)
His presence gives us comfort and joy in the middle of our victories and adversities. As a fragile baby, he teaches us to welcome the fragility of being human – to welcome the paradox and process of life, in sickness & health, in laughter& tears, in certainty and uncertainty. A baby who is in constant need of someone to sustain Him reminds us to be constantly open and dependent in the providence of God. A child who by His very nature is the bearer of peace in every home. This experience gives us the serenity that out of love, God our Father gave us His Son to teach us how to live our lives as His own children. To live our lives grounded on His faithfulness and merciful love whom we can anchor our lives upon.
May our Mother Mary share with us her vision and joy that by the coming of Jesus Christ in our lives, we recognize the fulfillment of the promise of God for us and for the world.
Jesus Christ is the Face of the Promise of God
1 In the past God spoke to our ancestors many times and in many ways through the prophets, 2 but in these last days he has spoken to us through his Son. He is the one through whom God created the universe, the one whom God has chosen to possess all things at the end. 3 He reflects the brightness of God's glory and is the exact likeness of God's own being, sustaining the universe with his powerful word.
God desires so much to reveal Himself through His Son. The face of an invisible God is manifested in Jesus Christ. In this stage of my life what is the face of the living God who affects my way of living and being?
God is with us
22 Now all this happened in order to make come true what the Lord had said through the prophet, 23 “A virgin will become pregnant and have a son, and he will be called Immanuel” (which means, “God is with us”).
God is the God of the past, present, future. Jesus came 2,000 years ago, today, His presence is in the Holy Eucharist and we continue to wait for His second coming. In our daily life, He makes Himself available to sustain, accompany and nourish us in our needs. Do I recognize His living presence in the middle of all the preparations for Christmas, behind a flash of glittering lights and Christmas merry-making?
The Word of God Made Flesh
2 At that time Emperor Augustus ordered a census to be taken throughout the Roman Empire. 2 When this first census took place, Quirinius was the governor of Syria. 3 Everyone, then, went to register himself, each to his own hometown.
4 Joseph went from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to the town of Bethlehem in Judea, the birthplace of King David. Joseph went there because he was a descendant of David. 5 He went to register with Mary, who was promised in marriage to him. She was pregnant, 6 and while they were in Bethlehem, the time came for her to have her baby. 7 She gave birth to her first son, wrapped him in cloths and laid him in a manger—there was no room for them to stay in the inn.
The paradox of God is revealed through His Son. An omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent God became flesh in a form of a baby. A baby who is small, fragile and needs to learn the basics of being human. Through Him, we learn to embrace the mystery of life that oftentimes unfolds beyond our expectations and calculations. May we ask the Child Jesus to help us embrace life and its surprises with the complete security of being in the good hands of God.
Jesus Humbled Himself
The attitude you should have is the one that Christ Jesus had:6 He always had the nature of God, but he did not think that by force he should try to remain equal with God.7 Instead of this, of his own free will he gave up all he had, and took the nature of a servant.He became like a human being and appeared in human likeness.8 He was humble and walked the path of obedience all the way to death— his death on the cross.9 For this reason God raised him to the highest place above and gave him the name that is greater than any other name.
Being a Child of the Father, Jesus humbles Himself in a form of a baby to liberate us from our fears, slaveries and anxieties. He placed His life in human hands to teach us to trust in the goodness of a human heart. He humbled Himself to be taught in order to empower the human race. As the King of Kings, He humbled Himself to the point of being born in a manger to help us understand what true authority and leadership is. What does His humility mean to you? May we open our hearts to the true meaning of His coming.
Jesus is the Prince of Peace
The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light. They lived in a land of shadows, but now light is shining on them.3 You have given them great joy, Lord; you have made them happy. They rejoice in what you have done, as peoplerejoice when they harvest grain or when they divide captured wealth.4 For you have broken the yoke that burdened them and the rod that beat their shoulders.You6 A child is born to us! A son is given to us! And he will be our ruler. He will be called, “Wonderful Counselor,”
“Mighty God,” “Eternal Father,” “Prince of Peace.”7 His royal power will continue to grow; his kingdom will always be at peace. (Isaiah 9:2-7)
Everyday, we hear news of the challenges and tragedies that the world face. In the forefront it seems that the world is crumbling down. Yet, if we step back and see the bigger picture, the world, or even our world has not collapsed. We are being sustained, every single second. The good news is, God is with us, the Prince of Peace. Like a baby at the center of every home, gives joy and peace to any troubled heart.
He has Kept the Promise He Made
46 Mary said,“My heart praises the Lord;47 my soul is glad because of God my Savior,48 for he has remembered me, his lowly servant!From now on all people will call me happy,49 because of the great things the Mighty God has done for me.His name is holy;50 from one generation to another he shows mercy to those who honor him.
51 He has stretched out his mighty arm and scattered the proud with all their plans.52 He has brought down mighty kings from their thrones,
and lifted up the lowly.53 He has filled the hungry with good things,
and sent the rich away with empty hands.54 He has kept the promise he made to our ancestors, and has come to the help of his servant Israel.55 He has remembered to show mercy to Abraham and to all his descendants forever!”(Luke 1:46-55)
Mary recognized that the coming of Jesus is the fulfillment of God’s promise. The incarnation of Jesus was made possible through the humble yes of Mary. May we too, open the way for others to touch the living God through the profession of our faith in word and in deed.
The Sunday within the Octave of the Nativity of the Lord
1st Reading: Sirach3:2-6,12-1414
Responsorial Psalm: Ps 128:1-5
2nd Reading: Col 3:12-21 or 3:12-17
Gospel: Luke 2:41-52
Weekly Prayer Guidelines
Read this week's guidelines to help you deepen in the Word of God for today.