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Wednesday, June 24, 2015

In what way do you need a boost in your hope and joy? - Daily Reflections June 24,2015

HOW ABOUT A SIX-MONTH ADVENT?
 
Today’s feast about the birth of John the Baptist recalls for us the words of the angel to Mary (Luke 1:36). As the heavens announced to Mary about her being the mother of Jesus the Messiah, her cousin Elizabeth, long-time barren, was on her sixth month of pregnancy. So whatever event, cycle or mood of life you are in, we are six months away from another Christmas celebration!
       What do the prospect of another Christmas, and the celebration of the birth of John the Baptist bring for our prayerful thoughts and musings? Let us imagine the situation in these events. Mary’s reality was Nazareth: a very poor, peasant village located north of Jerusalem, away from the trade and traffic of the Sea of Galilee, an isolated village located on the hills. For the more affluent priestly family of Zechariah and Elizabeth, they have been living with less and less hope for a child, an heir. In fact, they may have accepted that their union is the end of the line. Both of them were old and Elizabeth was barren. This situation was regarded by the folks of the Old Testament as a “curse.” Suddenly, a new turn of events. The Scriptures state the message for us. For Mary, the angel reveals: “For with God, nothing will be impossible” (Luke 1:37, RSV Edition). For Zechariah and Elizabeth, the conclusion of today’s Gospel has it: “For the hand of The Lord was with him (John).” John’s name literally means “God has shown favor!”
       Let us not wait for the Christmas holiday rush and then figure out what true Advent spiritual preparation is. Let us begin our personal Advent today. Whatever it is that the days of our lives have left us with, let hope and joy be renewed in our hearts. God is here. He is working out favors, like what He did for Mary, Zechariah and Elizabeth. Open your hearts. The hand of God is upon us. Nothing is impossible. Let us begin praying — “Maranatha” (Come, Lord, come). Fr. Domie Guzman, SSP
 
REFLECTION QUESTIONS: In what way do you need a boost in your hope and joy? Ask this of God in your prayer. How about making a more relaxed Christmas preparation this year? What can you start doing now?
 
Help me honor You in my Christmas preparations for this year, Lord. Show me the way.
 

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