Christmas Day — Mass during the Day
…and that life was the light of men…
Merry Christmas, everyone! I cannot help but feel that the world is finally emerging from the darkness of the past year and that collectively, we can all look forward with a renewed hope that things are certainly getting better. You can see it in the streets, among the throngs in the malls and I know of a fair few who have ventured abroad on their long-awaited holidays.
Last week, as many Catholics gathered for the finale of our year-long Catholic200SG celebrations, I could see the light in many smiles and hearts of those who had volunteered (some even took leave from work) to ensure that whoever turned up was warmly welcomed. In spite of the strict on-site ART regimen for those who were participating actively in some of the sessions, there was a palpable sense of hope and joy all round. Indeed, Jesus was alive and the light was radiating out from all the performers and supporting crew members.
It is that same light that I recall seeing in the 18 other retreatants who journeyed with me in November for 5 days as we got closer to God in our silence. Funny, isn’t it? How the more we stay silent and the ‘quieter’ we become, we allow God to shine His light in us so that we can then, in turn, radiate His light to others. It is the light that shines through when authentic conversations are had, and a light I have witnessed when we have been able to partake in shared meals with other Catholic friends over the past few weeks.
At a recent homily, this story was told to us — a father brought his young son (4 to 5 yrs old) to a church in order to start immersing the boy into the faith. The boy, awestruck by the immensity of the place and its architecture (this was in Europe), pointed to the stained glass windows and asked, “Who are those people?” The dad replied, “Those are all the saints who are now in heaven.” The son responded, “Is that why the light is shining through all of them?”
Brothers and sisters, at times we shortchange ourselves as His sons and daughters, especially when we are exhorted to ‘arise and shine’ or to ‘ignite and shine’ (during the Catholic200SG finale). There are too many of us who question our worthiness without fully understanding that by virtue of our baptism, the light of Christ truly shines in us. There is no reason for us to live in darkness, especially not when we have just celebrated (and continue to celebrate) the birth of Christ today! God has sent us a great gift and we are certainly blessed and privileged to be able to celebrate that light given to us. Today, let us all shine our light on our family, our colleagues, our friends, and the strangers around us who doubt. Let us turn them into believers.
(Today’s OXYGEN by Desmond Soon)
Prayer: Heavenly Father, you light up our lives and light our paths as we navigate the roads ahead in our spiritual journeys. Show us the way always and never allow us to fade into the darkness of uncertainty, fear, anxiety and doubt. May you always be our north star and our guiding light. And may we always look towards you with hope.
Thanksgiving: Thank you Lord, for being the light in our lives and for giving us Jesus in our hearts.