25 December, Friday — Angels We Have Heard On High

Brothers and sisters in Christ, today we welcome Calvin Wee on board our ministry. Calvin is a cradle Catholic and currently serves at the parish of St Mary of the Angels in Bukit Batok, Singapore.

He started to take a keener interest in the faith after his Conversion Experience Retreat, five years ago. Thereafter, he began to discover the richness of our faith through podcasts, daily reflections from both lay and clergy. Some of these reflections really touched him and helped in his prayer time.

When he was approached to contribute to Oxygen, he was filled with excitement, dread and fear. All in equal amounts. However, he knows that God has His plans for and that the Holy Spirit will guide him on this path, fully aware of the need to be humble and acknowledge, “Not my will but Yours be done.”

Christmas Day — Mass at Dawn

Isa 62:11-12
Tit 3:4-7
Lk 2:15-20

Now when the angels had gone from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another,“Let us go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened which the Lord has made known to us.”

“Lord, PLEASE tell me what to do or where to go! Please, please grant my petition! What is your will for me?” I expect God to answer me in a loud booming voice. But more often than not, a deafening silence is all I hear.  

“Do you not love me, Lord? Why do you keep silent? I am really suffering here, do you not care?”

Why does God not answer me? Is it because I am not ‘holy’ enough? Or that I haven’t recited enough rosaries? I know! It’s because I haven’t asked enough saints or enough prayer communities to intercede for me. Does this sound familiar? I know that I am not the only one with these thoughts. But then again, how can I be, to think that I can ‘force’ Our Heavenly Father to answer my prayers, at a particular time and date of my choosing.

I recently celebrated my 50th birthday, and as I looked back on my life and the many crossroads that I encountered, I realised that God has been there at every crossroad and answered most of my prayers. Granted, He may not have spoken to me in the traditional way, and I don’t mean via a text message, but He always sends angels to me. Not the cherubic ones with wings and harps, but these angels or messengers from God have come to me bearing His word, each and every time.

When I was contemplating what to do after serving National Service, since my A-Level results were not good enough to enter the local university and an overseas university was not an option, a friend popped up and shared the new polytechnic course that she was enrolled in. I managed to register and got into that particular course as well. That decision paved the way to my future career choices. After 3 months in my first job, I wanted a Marketing role and, in my subsequent interview, who else but an old schoolmate was the hiring manager and offered me that role.

In my work life, I have been retrenched three times. And each and every time, there was always someone who introduced me to my next job. It didn’t always happen immediately, but these angels have shown me the way according to Our heavenly Father’s will. In His time and not mine. Each time this happened, I pray and give thanks for all these angels. Even when balloting for CER, an old friend saw me and said with certainty, “Sure get in one…”

The key point for me is that although the angels were around to show me the way, I still had to take action, just like the shepherds. They didn’t just stare into the space where the  angel and the heavenly host had appeared; they immediately made their way to pay homage to baby Jesus in the manger.

God will send angels to show us the way, but we also have to play our part, in that we have to take action and go. It may be something that is out of our comfort zone, like when the angel told Joseph to take his family to Egypt. But we should have trust in the Lord’s love for us. He will never send us to a place or situation that we will not be able to handle. Keep Him in the centre of all we do and say “Yes” and take action.

God always prepares us for the next step; we need to keep our hearts, minds, wills open to whatever or whoever He will send.

And in my contemplation, when I pray and ask for help and hear nothing, that could be also God telling me, “Not yet. Not time yet.” Because “No” is also an answer.

(Today’s OXYGEN by Calvin Wee)

Prayer: Heavenly Father, grant us the graces to discern Your way and the strength to do your Holy Will, even on those occasions where we do not know what’s next. Grant that we will always put You in the centre of all we do and let us be your messengers and angels to others, especially to those who seek your voice. Amen.

Thanksgiving: Thank you Father, for gracing us with angels who show us the way. Thank you for always loving and being there for us.  Our hope is always in You, Lord. Amen.

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