Saturday, 30 December 2017 : Sixth Day within Octave of Christmas (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we listened to the exhortation by the Apostle St. John in his Epistle, our first reading today, in which he called on all of us to love God and not the things of this world. He mentioned how those who love the things of this world, its glamour, pleasures, joys, in all the temptations and desires, are not doing what God wants from us.

St. John reminds each one of us, that we must not be distracted by all those things, by the temptation of money, the temptation of the pleasures of the flesh, the temptation of glory and human approval, and many others. Yet, many of us have forgotten that the true goal and desire of our lives should indeed be the Lord, Our God. Yes, that is why all of us must be vigilant against the temptations that will come our way.

We should look at our Gospel passage today, which is a continuation of yesterday’s passage, about the time when the Lord Jesus, as a Baby, newly born, was brought by His mother Mary and His foster father St. Joseph to the Temple of Jerusalem to be presented to the Lord, in accordance to the laws of Moses. There were two people whom they encountered that day in the Temple, one was Simeon, who foretold the fate of the Baby as the Saviour of the world, and Anna the prophetess, as told in the Gospel passage today.

Both of them were so joyful because they were able to finally see the Messiah after awaiting Him for a very long time. God has promised them that they would be privileged to be able to lay their eyes on Him, while many other prophets, kings and people have not been given such a privilege. Many of them have long awaited the coming of the Lord’s salvation, and they did not live to see the day of its coming.

How is this significant for us, brothers and sisters? It is exactly the joy which these two faithful servants of God had shown, the exhilaration of welcoming the Lord into their midst, that is sadly absent in many of us. First of all, how many of us have gotten over Christmas and continued in our daily business and usual habits? We have indulged ourselves in merrymaking and partying during Christmas, but do we know what it is that we are celebrating about?

In fact, the Christmas season is still ongoing, for another week or so, until the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord. And Christmas should always be with us, for we rejoice in Christmas because of none other than the wondrous works of Our Lord and Saviour, Who was born into this world and celebrated on Christmas season. Our joy should be like that of Simeon and Anna, who cheered and were jubilant because of the love which God has shown them through the Saviour, Jesus Christ.

Let us all now reflect on each of our own individual lives. How many of us place the Lord at the centre and as the focus of our lives? How many of us prioritise Him over our worldly dealings, ambitions and all other distractions and temptations of this life? And if our response to all of these questions is that we have not been prioritising God over other things, then we have to ask ourselves, what is God really to us?

Is He someone we just turn to and remember when we are in difficulty and in need? Is He someone Whom we just forget and ignore when we have gotten what we need and are distracted by the many worldly concerns? If we think of God in this way, then perhaps we need to reevaluate our opinion of Him, and rediscover Who God truly is.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, let us all commit ourselves anew to the Lord, and seek Him with all of our hearts’ strength, with all of our minds and focus. Let us all rediscover the true joy of our hearts, that is also the true joy of Christmas, none other than the Lord Jesus, Who have chosen to come and dwell with us, that we may come to know Him personally.

May the Lord be with us always, journeying with us, so that eventually we may find our way to Him and His salvation, that we may be reunited with Him and live happily with Him forever after. May God bless us always, and be with all of our endeavours. Amen.

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