December 24, 2020 – Ninth Day of Misa de Aguinaldo
Click here for the readings (https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/122420.cfm)
Our traumatic experiences, unexpected and painful events that have happened in our life could be our heavy reasons to retreat into sadness and desperation. Sometimes, we could not help it because what has occurred to us was just too much to bear, and too overwhelming. Such experience can be likened to darkness where every gleam of the light of joy and comfort was deprived from us.
However, there are many of us also who despite those painful, traumatic and heartbreaking experiences in their life, they persisted to hope again and too see something beyond the darkness that had befallen into their life.
For us to have a better understanding on this and a better realization on the wonder of seeing beyond darkness and hoping beyond pain and sadness, let us rediscover God’s invitation for us today and see how the three gifts of presence, of light and of life were slowly being unboxed in today’s readings.
In the Second Book of Samuel, the prophet proclaimed the gift of presence to be given to David. David who thought that he should build a house for God, was promised by the Lord to be given a house that will last forever. This is the covenant so dear to the people because God will be a father.
Besides, the Psalm also expressed a similar hope. Because of the suffering endured by the people of this time, they longed to that promise of God who shall show an everlasting kindness. What kept them hopeful was their confidence in God’s faithfulness because God is our Father. This confidence in God as Father, is the gift of the presence of God being unboxed slowly throughout the history of Israel.
In the Gospel of Luke, what has been proclaimed to us today is the Song of Zechariah. Remember, before he was able to sing this, Zechariah was muted by God. Because of his unbelief to God’s gift to him, Zechariah was silenced. He did not listen and believe in God’s revelation.
Remember again, Zechariah’s unbelieving response was a bitter reaction to God. Zechariah must have believed that God had forgotten him and abandoned him. The shame that he endured for being childless for many years must have brought him to hopelessness. He forgot that God was faithful. Yet, despite this reaction of Zechariah towards the gift of God, John was given to him and to his wife. The birth of John, was a gift of light. The dark shame and guilt of Zechariah was removed because of this gift of light. John was a light to him and to people who came to be baptized by John. John also led people to see the true light. John as the prophet of the Most High, himself unboxed the gift of light for people to see and be illuminated. He unboxed that gift through his preaching of the coming of the Messiah, the Lamb of God who was in their midst.
This is how Zechariah recalled the covenant of God and the fulfillment of the promise of a mighty Savior. In his song, he also recounted how his eyes have seen clearly that promise being unfolded through the birth of his son. John will go before the Lord to prepare his way, to give knowledge of salvation by the forgiveness of sins. The song of Zechariah itself is the unboxing of the gift of life.
The Song of Zechariah proclaims to us the abundance of life coming into us now and that we too, each of us, is unboxing this gift of life.
With all of these, how do we unbox the gifts given to us by the Lord?
We unbox the gift of presence of God by becoming confident in God’s presence. Both the Second Book of Samuel and the Psalm tell us that God is our Father. Take confidence in this. It is because that God is a Father to us, God will always be for us. We may have not so nice experiences with our earthly fathers, but God as our Father, will never hurt and will never leave us.
We unbox the gift of light when we also accept and confront our own blindness and our own darkness. Like Zechariah, he was confronted by the Angel of his unbelief. Let us also confront ourselves and challenge ourselves not to succumb to what is dark and to what is evil. Only then, also that we will be able to confront the darkness and the evil around us when we are confident that we have unboxed the gift of light, who is Jesus.
We also unbox the gift of life when we learn to embrace the beauty and the wonder of every form of life. God is about to be born like us, and God chooses to be born because God is life and God is for life. When we learn to show respect to all life, cherish all life and protect all life, then we unbox this gift and be gifted with eternal life.
The gifts of presence, of light and life is Jesus himself. Remember that. Hinaut pa.