Reflections of Faith
Read and be inspired by a reflection based on today's Gospel made by members of the Verbum Dei Family in Manila.
January 1, 2019 – Tuesday
Gospel: Luke 2:16-21
“And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God”
Today we accompany the shepherds as they beheld the Holy Family in the manger. In a certain sense, seeing the child Jesus was like the opening of a new year. It meant a new life, a life that recognized the presence of God in this world. Maybe seeing the Lord did not change their situation in life. But it did give them a new perspective and reminded them of how much God loved them.
Happy new start for all! We have no less than the Mother of God to hold us by the hand and see life in a new way.
December 31, 2018 – Monday
Gospel: John 1:18
"All things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made.”
As each year comes to a close, I often spend time looking back over the year that was. I try to recall as much as I can of what happened, giving thanks for both the good and bad things. No matter how good or bad the year was, it always ends up with the conclusion that God was in control of everything. And whenever that grace comes to me in prayer, I stand in awe of God’s power and love. His power because He makes everything happen at the right time. His love because He never leaves nor forsakes me. Finishing the year like this is a great way to prepare for the year ahead, because you look forward to it in hope knowing that God stands waiting with His plan. And no matter how good or bad the new year will be, you can be certain God will be faithful.
Reflecting on today’s gospel reading gave me that same reassurance. Fittingly, the passage for the last day of the year is the first passage of the Gospel of John. Our Lord Jesus is the beginning and the end, the alpha and the omega. All things were made through Him, says St John. That means everything, big or small. Nothing that has happened and will happen in our life is not known by God. But more importantly, nothing will happen in our life that God will not accompany us and see us through.
What was your 2018 like and where did you see the Lord at work?
Lord, we thank You for helping us through the past year. We give you honor and praise for Your graces and blessings, especially through the most difficult moments of the year. May You be ever faithful to us in this coming year.
December 30, 2018 – Sunday
Gospel: Luke 2:41-52“Why were you looking for me? Did you not know I must be in my Father’s house?
When we find ourselves in darkness, we will find Jesus in the Temple, available for us, to do some talk with us, a place where we can meditate on His words. Mary and Joseph showed us the way back to Jesus, when we lose our way.
When they couldn’t find Jesus, it was He who went away from Him. But in our case, it is us who turn away from Him. He never abandons us; He is always there waiting for us. And it is always He who takes the initiative to call us back, it’s just that we don’t seem to listen sometimes.
Jesus, may we never lost sight of you again. Mary and Joseph, help us not to lose sight of Him again.
December 29, 2018 – Saturday
Gospel: Luke 2:22-35“Now O Lord, you can dismiss your servant in peace, for you have fulfilled your word and my eyes have seen my salvation....”
Simeon, a very upright and devout man, and touched by the Holy Spirit, was led to the Temple when Mary and Joseph brought Baby Jesus for purification according to Law. Simeon immediately took Him in his arms and declared these words.
In our own way, do we offer ourselves each day to the Lord, each task, each decision, child, and project? Do we make Him first in our bucket list? Have we felt His joy in our hearts ? Have we realized the freedom that He is speaking of? Have we committed to creating a just and humane society? Let us pray for a better world by doing ordinary things extraordinarily.
December 28, 2018 – Friday
“I called my son out of Egypt.”
What a sad story immediately after Christmas. Herod so fearful of the new King, ordered the slaughter of all male infants in the region. An angel told Joseph to leave Bethlehem immediately and flee to Egypt.
Today in this feast of the Holy Innocents, let us look at the children who are without homes, no food, no clothes, who face a bleak future, with no education. Let us bring the light of the Lord to them, bring joy and hope to them, and teach them to dream again. St. Paul says, “Comfort one another.” Let us never hesitate to reach out to those in need.
December 27, 2018 – Thursday
Gospel: John 20:1a & 2-8“The other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went in; he saw and believed.”
Today is the feast of St John, Apostle and Evangelist, the disciple whom Jesus loved. He was not yet 20 when he was called. Their first meeting left such an impression on John that he loved Jesus with all his heart, even after only one meeting. He centered his whole life on Jesus up to Calvary and even caring for Mama Mary thereafter.
John constantly says “It is the Lord...” even from a distance, he recognizes Jesus. But we, distracted by so many things, can’t even see Jesus when He passes us by so close. We pray for eyes to see Him in others, and recognize Him in us. May we look at Jesus and Mama Mary with the same eyes as John, so full of love and devotion.
December 26, 2018 – Wednesday
Gospel: Matthew 10:17-22
“For it will not be you who speak but the Spirit of your Father, speaking through you.”
It will not be easy to follow the footsteps of Christ. There will be resistance, denial, sarcasm, persecution, and even martyrdom. But He says, “Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be in heaven.” What God wants is that we are strengthened by these trials and gain hope in heaven. It will be him who will give us what we need to face what comes.
Let us remember too what hardships Mama Mary went through. Let us call on her during our difficult times.
December 25, 2018 – Tuesday
Gospel: John 1:1-18
“In the beginning was the Word. And the Word was with God and the Word was God.....”
“The Word became flesh and dwelt among us.” Christmas brings us visibly and closely to God here on earth to be among us. He became human to be with us, for us to follow his footsteps, listen to His teachings, to share our joys and sorrows, to be in solidarity with us.
Christmas is a celebration of who God is in our lives, to see His Divinity in us. We see a Baby born poor, in such humble surroundings, and it teaches us to be happy because he brings light in the darkness of night...Our Savior is born...We have hope.
December 24 – 30, 2018
December 24, 2018 – Monday
Gospel: Luke 1:67-79
“Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for he has come and redeemed his people.”
Our waiting (Advent) is almost done, like Zechariah let us also expresses thanks to God for the redemption of his people, thanks for the fulfillment of past promises, and thanks for the anticipation of future promises. Let us also can never forego with being persistent and patient in our daily prayers. Let us look to St. Joseph whose patience and humility we should imitate, and Mama Mary for her constant prayer in everything that she does.
December 23, 2018 Sunday
Gospel: Lk 1: 39-45
Leap with joy!
In this final Sunday of Advent, Mary traveled to Elizabeth carrying with her the Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ. As soon as Elizabeth heard Mary’s voice, the baby in her womb leaped for joy! As we receive the fullness of joy in knowing that the savior is coming, let us also receive the peace that Jesus offers in our lives.
Why not spread the joy of the good news and share the peace to others? It is the true spirit of Christmas inspired by Mary’s attitude and action.
Mother Mary, we pray to be like you, a model of simplicity and true contentment in celebrating Christmas.