Saturday, December 29, 2012

Gospel Reflection

December 29, 2012
Saturday – Year of Faith
The Fifth Day in the Octave of Christmas
by Rev. Fr. Peter Baquero (Salesians of Don Bosco, Papua New Guinea)
7:15AM Mass, St. John Bosco Parish, Makati

Reading 1 1 Jn 2:3-11

Beloved: The way we may be sure that we know Jesus is to keep his commandments. Whoever says, "I know him," but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoever keeps his word, the love of God is truly perfected in him. This is the way we may know that we are in union with him: whoever claims to abide in him ought to walk just as he walked.

Beloved, I am writing no new commandment to you but an old commandment that you had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word that you have heard. And yet I do write a new commandment to you, which holds true in him and among you, for the darkness is passing away, and the true light is already shining. Whoever says he is in the light, yet hates his brother, is still in the darkness. Whoever loves his brother remains in the light, and there is nothing in him to cause a fall. Whoever hates his brother is in darkness; he walks in darkness and does not know where he is going because the darkness has blinded his eyes.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 96:1-2a, 2b-3, 5b-6

R. (11a) Let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice!
Sing to the LORD a new song;
sing to the LORD, all you lands.
Sing to the LORD; bless his name.
R. Let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice!
Announce his salvation, day after day.
Tell his glory among the nations;
among all peoples, his wondrous deeds.
R. Let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice!
The LORD made the heavens.
Splendor and majesty go before him;
praise and grandeur are in his sanctuary.
R. Let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice!

Gospel Lk 2:22-35

When the days were completed for their purification according to the law of Moses, the parents of Jesus took him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord, just as it is written in the law of the Lord, Every male that opens the womb shall be consecrated to the Lord, and to offer the sacrifice of a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons, in accordance with the dictate in the law of the Lord.

Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon. This man was righteous and devout, awaiting the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he should not see death before he had seen the Christ of the Lord. He came in the Spirit into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus to perform the custom of the law in regard to him, he took him into his arms and blessed God, saying:

"Lord, now let your servant go in peace; your word has been fulfilled: my own eyes have seen the salvation which you prepared in the sight of every people, a light to reveal you to the nations and the glory of your people Israel."

The child's father and mother were amazed at what was said about him; and Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, "Behold, this child is destined for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be contradicted (and you yourself a sword will pierce) so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed."


Two nights ago, I was at home and then we received a phone call from my younger sister and she was looking for her husband, my brother-in-law, asking whether he is already at home or not yet at home. I said no. After a few moments, it was my brother-in-law who called and was asking for my sister. And I said, "She's not here." They were actually in a mall, at nagkasalisi sila.

After a while, my sister arrived, gusot ang mukha. And I know that she is really very disappointed. After a while, my brother-in-law arrived with his daughter. Then I told myself, "Patay. Away ito." So I was waiting for a commotion. But strange, they went down together, and took supper together with their daughter.

Really, one thing that we would hate in life is to wait. To wait. Sometimes, if we have to wait for a few minutes, we get irritated. Much more if we have to wait longer. You can just imagine the pain and the stress of people waiting at the airport, just to find out that their flights have been cancelled or postponed. And this causes so much stress. 

Imagine Simeon. Simeon was waiting for a long time. And most probably, Simeon could have possibly been impatient. But it was the Holy Spirit who sustained him in that long wait. It was also the same Spirit who told him to wait. And when Simeon saw the Christ Child, he saw that Light. At nawala lahat ng kanyang paghihintay. All the pains for the waiting that he experienced disappeared because he saw the Light. He finally saw the Christ who he was living for, who he was waiting for, that he already forgot how long he was waiting by the sight of the Child Jesus. 

St. John mentions to us that for us to see God's light, we must keep God's promise and we must follow God's ways. If we are aligned in God's ways, then we will see the consolation of God's light in our life. Like Simeon, if we want to feel and see the consolation of God's light in our life, we should recognize Christ as the Light and our true Savior. Simeon tells that if we want to know and receive God in our lives, we should follow His ways.

My dear friends, it is good to ask ourselves. How bright is God's light in our life? Is it dim, is it flickering, or is it bright? The Gospel invites us to look into ourselves, whether our life is aligned with God's ways, whether our life is attuned with the Spirit. Then and there, we could see the light of Christ in our life. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.