Misa de Gallo Day 8 Reflection: TRULY HE IS COMING!
by Br. Nestor R. Lloren, Jr.
We are filled with the spirit of joy and wonder because the hand of God is active in our lives. We prepare the way for those in need then we prepare the way of the Lord and hasten the advent of His kingdom in our midst. The advent of the Lord is an expression of His mercy. The motive of today’s responsorial psalms is again bedewed with mercy as they acclaim “Lift up your heads and see; your redemption is near at hand. The verses of the psalm talk about God making us know his ways and teaching us his paths.
- Just two days before Christmas our advent liturgy presents to us the birth of John the Baptist who is the forerunner of Christ. St. Luke’s gospel highlights the spirit of joy and wonder that animates the people witnessing the marvelous circumstances surrounding the child of Elizabeth and Zechariah. The conception of the child at an old age is a sign of God’s favor. When an angel of God visited him saying that his wife will soon conceive and bear a son and they are to name him John. Zechariah answers with disbelief which caused him to be punished for his misgiving by making him mute until the child is born. When Zechariah fulfilled the angel’s prophecy by naming the boy John his muteness vanished; his mouth was opened and his tongue freed. Indeed, Christmas is all about God’s favors and graces. As along as we bear Christ in our hearts His favors and graces never falter. They even extend in setting us free from the bondages that hinder us to be good.
- The question of the neighborhood ‘what will this child turn out to be?’ would find its answer with Malachi’s prophecy as backdrop that John would be the messenger to prepare the way before the Lord. As an uncompromising prophet he will take his seat as refiner and purifier thus he will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver and then they will make the offering to the Lord as it should be made. The choice of the name of the child by both parents is the return of the power of speech to Zechariah contributed to the excitement of the crowd. Both Elizabeth and Zechariah willed to call the child with the name that was given to Him by the angel during the annunciation. Freedom is essential to all of us but true freedom can only be achieved through God’s grace. Let us imitate John who is filled with God’s favor and willed to become the MESSENGER of the Good News. Let this Christmas and the years to come, allow each one of us to stand for what is good. BE GOD’S MESSENGER!
- The name John is equivalent to God is merciful as it was practically a life program for the child of favor and that God wants to be remembered as merciful. In the events surrounding the birth of John the Baptist, the people had recognized the merciful hand of God at work. They have shared in the joy, and at the same time, they were filled with awe. So, Christmas: 1. is about God’s favor and grace; 2. is about our willingness to become HIS messengers; 3. is about the mercy of the Father that along the way we falter, we commit mistakes but don’t forget why we have Christmas, Jesus came down to heal and forgive us, this is Christmas having a FATHER WHO IS MERCIFUL who wants to embrace us despite and in spite of our weaknesses.
The coming of john the Baptist is a sign that the day of the Lord is near. In this advent season we are being reminded that we too, are another John the Baptist who are called to prepare the way of the Lord and hasten the advent of His kingdom on earth. Always remember, we have a Father who never fails to shower His grace and favor to all of us. In return, in our own little ways and meaningful good deeds, we can proclaim God’s mercy and that our redemption is near at hand.