November 28, 2021 – First Sunday of Advent
Click here for the readings (https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/112821.cfm)
A wise man once said: We are like a bottle of medicine. For him not to forget, God puts a label on it, that says: “Shake well, before using.” – Shake Well Before Using.
Like a tasty cooked meal or well-brewed coffee, there are things in life at its best when it is cooked, brewed, stirred, or mixed. Only by means of these processes, we may able to benefit and enjoy how good, effective & tasty these things are.
Same way for us Christians. Human as we are, we do not like to be disturbed and bothered in life. We rather prefer an easy, comfortable & complacent life. But we also cannot deny that we are in our best selves, not in our contented, perfect, healthy lifestyles. Our greatness is rather shown in times of our endurance, faith & courage amidst struggles, sufferings & difficulties in life. Our best & greatness usually lie at the times when we are somehow disturbed, stirred, shaken, broken & hard-pressed by our present life struggles & challenges.
We have witnessed & we are witnesses to these during these past few months. We have been through & still going through a lot during these pandemic times. Our life in our world nowadays has been chaotic, distressing, & difficult due to this novel yet incomprehensible disease & sickness that infected our lives. True indeed, we find ourselves lost, disturbed, & knocked-out in life, but amidst all these, we have also witnessed how our faith & humanity stand up for the occasion & show our best & greatness by our generosity to share our help & concerns with one another. Yes, amidst our present life-challenges and difficulties, we have seen the worse, as well as the better of humanity, and of our faith.
Consider, our Saints become saints not because they were perfect & sacred human beings, but because these people were able to endure & persevere in their Christian faith amidst life-difficulties & their own worse & limitations. Likewise, limited & worse we might be, we Filipino are greatly acknowledged these days not only in our country but also in the whole world, for the love & care we, (& mostly our Filipino frontline health workers), extend to respond in sharing our life & faith to those who are sick & dying.
Just like a bottle of medicine, for us to be an effective & worthy medicine of God to others, there are times & moments in our Christian lives that we need to be disturbed, stirred, and shaken well by life-challenges & difficulties from our complacent & comfortable lives. In other words, before using, we need to be shaken well, & indeed, we are being shaken well lately.
Amidst these challenging & confusing pandemic times, somehow perhaps God is shaking & stirring us well for us to be better person, better witness, better Christian, better medicine for others. And Jesus warns in our gospel today: “When these signs begin to happen, stand erect & raise your heads because redemption is at hand.”
That is why, friends, during this Advent season, wake up, stand up & await in hope for great things about to happen in our lives, thus prepare & make us ready to own God’s promise of redemption through Christ & make us living witnesses & medicine of His blessings to others.
May God’s word, God’s peace, disturb & shake us well now & always. Amen.