Good day to everyone and happy Sunday! Seven days before Christmas!
Our theme for today’s reading is: My Spirit Finds Joy in God My Savior
Here is our first reading:
The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,
because the Lord has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor
and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,
I delight greatly in the Lord;
my soul rejoices in my God.
For he has clothed me with garments of salvation
and arrayed me in a robe of his righteousness,
as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest,
and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.
For as the soil makes the sprout come up
and a garden causes seeds to grow,
so the Sovereign Lord will make righteousness
and praise spring up before all nations.
And here is our Gospel reading:
There was a man sent from God whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all might believe. He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light.
Now this was John’s testimony when the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem sent priests and Levites to ask him who he was. He did not fail to confess, but confessed freely, “I am not the Messiah.”
They asked him, “Then who are you? Are you Elijah?”
He said, “I am not.”
“Are you the Prophet?”
He answered, “No.”
Finally they said, “Who are you? Give us an answer to take back to those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?”
John replied in the words of Isaiah the prophet, “I am the voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way for the Lord.’”
Now the Pharisees who had been sent questioned him, “Why then do you baptize if you are not the Messiah, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?”
“I baptize with water,” John replied, “but among you stands one you do not know. He is the one who comes after me, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie.”
This all happened at Bethany on the other side of the Jordan, where John was baptizing.
Here are excerpts from our Saint Joseph Sunday missal commentaries:
1. “Many people do not have the insight that service to others can be a source of joy…. …One of the great contribution of Christianity is that it has brought joy to the world. The scripture readings of today deal with this joy. It is a joy that cannot be obtained overnight. It is a joy that is found in service…. If you are yearning for real joy, happiness and peace of mind, you should prayerfully go over this readings.
2. The question that no intelligent person can ignore is “Who is this man, Jesus Christ, who started that worldwide movement called Christianity?” It has existed for some 2,000 years. Apparently, it has satisfied the aspirations of millions. It has given a kind of joy and happiness in which martyrs have laid down their lives.
3. Notice the unselfishness of John. He himself is a preacher, but he bears witness to Him, whose sandal he is not worthy to unfasten. John is the pattern of the Church ministry today. There are many in our community who are searching. It should be our joy by word and example to point to The Lord Jesus as an answer to their search.
How beautiful are the words of Father John C. Kirsten S.V.D. , the main writer in our Saint Joseph Sunday missal.
And as for us, let us all make ourselves be a blessing to others this Christmas !
The other important point of today’s reading is John’s statement: ” I myself is not The Light, the one coming after me is The Light.” Have we ever wondered why Christmas celebration is characterized with so much lights. There is the Christmas light in every house, in every Christmas Tree. In our South district of Metro Manila, Filinvest City has a Light Show. But for those who have been given the grace to experienced the real Light, it’s now your turn to let others know where they can find the True Light.