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.
December 31, 2020 Thursday
1 John 1:1-18
"In the beginning.."
It's the last day of 2020 and yet, the gospel tells us about beginnings. Today is a good time to look back on how the year started and unfolded to where we are right now. 2020 may have been one of the hardest years to count, with all the unprecedented events going on, we usually find ourselves in the dark, uncertain of how things would be as each day passes. But isn't it that it is during these dark moments when the light of Christ shines the brightest, leading us to this newfound hope and joy in this so called "new normal"?
Indeed, it is only through God's grace that we continue to thrive and rise above the challenges of this year. Since from the very start of this journey, God has always been there all along shining His light, preparing us to the new things He has in store for us as we welcome another year with hearts full of hope and steadfast spirit.
Dearest Holy Trinity, thank you for leading us to where we are right now. We believe that it is the best place to start the year that is to come. May your light continue to guide us as we move forward towards the paths you have prepared for us. Amen.
December 30, 2020 Wednesday
"She gave thanks to God and spoke about the child"
Prophetess Anna, while waiting for the Messiah to come, spent all her time fasting and praying in the temple. And when the time came when she finally met Jesus, she was able to recognize Him and her spirit was so filled with joy and gratitude that he went telling other people about Him.
Today, like Anna, we are invited to be attentive to Jesus's presence in our lives, rejoice in Him, and let Him fill our hearts with graces so it could overflow to the people around us.
Dear Jesus, thank you for being always present for us. Grant us the eyes to recognize your presence in the littlest of things around us and the openness to receive your graces and share it to others. Amen.
December 29, 2020 Tuesday
"And sorrow, like a sharp sword, will break your own heart."
Simon, in the gospel, spoke prophetic words about Jesus, how He would save the people of Israel. He also mentioned to Mary that along with the joy of raising the Son of God who brings the promise of salvation is a deep sorrow as she would share in the sufferings that Jesus would have to suffer in fulfilling the will of His Father.
The gospel tells us that the birth of Jesus doesn't mean that we will be free from all adversities and sufferings. But rather, it is a promise of finding joy and peace in the presence of these difficulties. As we carry our crosses in fulfilling the mission God asks of us, no matter how difficult the journey is, as long as we carry them with Jesus, we would always find that much needed strength and power to press on and experience the true joy and peace in Jesus's presence.
Mother Mary, through your intercession, may we be able to endure the difficulties as we carry our crosses with Jesus. Amen.
December 28, 2020 Monday
"Joseph rose and took the child and his mother by night and departed for Egypt"
In today's gospel, we witnessed Joseph's obedience and trust to God's plans when an angel spoke to him to flee to Egypt with Mary and Jesus and stay there indefinitely as Jesus's life was threatened by Herod. Like any loving father who would do everything for the safety of his family, we can just imagine Joseph's fear and worry about how things would be for the three of them. But in spite of all these uncertainties, He acted on God's plan and trusted that He will take care of them.
St. Joseph, thank you for your fidelity and trust in God's plans. We ask for your intercession that in times when we struggle with what God asks of us, we would be able to choose to radically put our trust in Him and embrace His plans for us as you did. Amen.
December 27, 2020 Sunday
Gospel: Luke 2:22–40
In today’s Gospel, we see the Holy Family of Jesus, Joseph and Mary in the scene of The Presentation. Also, there was Simeon and Anna, prophets who waited for the day when they see the Lord.
The act of waiting is always a challenge for restless hearts and today we encounter Simeon and Anna who faithfully waited for the moment of seeing the Child who would realize God’s promise of salvation.
May we be like Simeon and Anna, who displayed great faith and joy in front of the Lord – the Child they faithfully waited.
December 26, 2020 Saturday
Gospel: Matthew 10:17–22
Endure to the end
Today as we celebrate the feast of Saint Stephen, the first martyr, we are called to stand and endure persecutions as we live out our faith. And as we walk the humbling ways of our lives, let us focus our eyes on our destination – the loving embrace of the Father waiting for us.
May we also have the same resiliency that Saint Stephen displayed in his time of death, forgiving those who persecuted him.
December 25, 2020 Friday
Gospel: John 1:1–18
The Word Became Flesh
Today as we joyfully celebrate the birth of the Lord, we are also invited to reflect on how everything started with the Word of God and came to the actuality of man’s hoped salvation.
Jesus is born, the salvation came into fruition, and the promise of God realized. This day also shows to us how everything can turn out to be well in the plan of God – that all shall be well in letting God do His plan.
May this Christmas day give us not only joy but also hope as we celebrate the Holy Infant in the manger – the hope that our loving God has given us.
December 24, 2020 Thursday
Gospel: Luke 1:67–79
“Blessed be the Lord” (cf. Luke 1:68)
Songs are manifestations of one’s inspirations and today we hear an inspired Zechariah filled with the Holy Spirit singing his praise to the Lord and offering his son to go on before the Lord.
May we also have that same inspiration that Zechariah has to express the greatness of the Lord.
December 23, 2020 Wednesday
Gospel: Luke 1:57–66
“The Lord has shown his great mercy” (cf. Luke 1:58)
Today’s Gospel narrates to us the birth of John the Baptist which filled the relatives and neighbours of Zechariah and Elizabeth with amazement witnessing how God has shown his mercy in their lives.
God shows us his great mercy in countless times and it is with a faithful heart that we can acknowledge and give thanks to it.
This Christmas Season, let us have a moment to acknowledge the times that God has shown to us his mercy and graciously heard our prayers.
December 22, 2020 Tuesday
Gospel: Luke 1:46–56
“My spirit rejoices in God my savior” (cf. Luke 1:47)
Words may not suffice to glorify the greatness of God yet Mary joyfully magnified the works of God to her life in her song of praise – the Magnificat.
Today, Mary inspires us to express our gratitude to the graces that God has given us. May we also have that same joyful heart she has as we celebrate this Christmas season.