6th Day of Simbang Gabi (December 21, 2022)


On this 6th day of our Misa de Gallo the story of Mary’s visitation to her cousin Elizabeth invites us to be bearers of God’s presence to others. We are invited to be sharers of Christmas moment to others. Many of us right now are craving to “feel” God’s presence. Many want to touch God for a lot of reason. Others want to once again experience Christmas just like when they were children. I remember myself asking my parishioners why I’m not seeing Christmas decors yet when we are already in the middle of December. Or is it because it’s not yet Christmas day? Maybe I’m wrong on this but I have a feeling we are slowly losing the Pinoy’s traditional spirit of Christmas. This is because there are people who say that life this time is hard as compared before. They don’t have time for visitations and Christmas decors are becoming expensive.

In the story of Mary’s visitation it was a Christmas moment for both Elizabeth and Mary. On the part of Elizabeth after she received Mary into her house she was ecstatic and filled with the Holy Spirit and gave a loud cry: “How does this happen to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For at that moment the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy!” And for Mary it was also a Christmas moment because when Elizabeth said to her “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb”, this was the moment when Mary fully understood the words of the angel that she is not merely a handmade of the Lord. She had to become the Mother of God. Because of this she was filled with profound joy that she was able to say her Magnificat.

On this 6th day of our Misa de Gallo it may still be early to greet everyone a Merry Christmas but who could stop us from greeting everyone Merry Christmas or organizing Christmas parties? Who could stop John the Baptist from showing his excitement and happiness even if his Savior is just starting to grow inside His mother’s womb? Who would stop us from sharing the spirit of Christmas to others even if it’s not yet December 25?

Mary’s visitation is a big thing for Elizabeth for a lot of reason. But having Mary beside her during the final weeks of her pregnancy is a big relief considering that she is old. Surely she would need Mary’s help very soon. But this story of the visitation reminds us that the salvation which Christ is bringing to the world is made visible through our good works. The visitation of Mary is Elizabeth’s moment when she saw up close and personal that salvation has arrived into the world. The visitation of Mary is John’s moment when he met the Savior whom he is tasked to prepare the world for His arrival.

For us once again this season is another moment wherein we can welcome the Lord into our hearts and into our homes in a special way. The visible sights of this season remind us that God is with us. But we must be “up close and personal” with our meet up with the Lord. Let us journey with Mary in bringing Jesus to everyone. Let us take part in making visible the presence of God through our good works. Let us go beyond our troubles and go out of our way and be bringer of Jesus to others. Let us share Christmas moments with the less privilege, with those who have lost hope, with the suffering and the hurting. If Christmas is like this then it will no longer be an annual celebration that lasts only a few weeks but a spirit we will always be bringing the whole year round. Amen.

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Jay Parilla

Fray Jay Parilla OAR