25 December, Saturday — The Ultimate Present

Christmas Day — Midnight Mass

Isa 9:1-7
Tit 2:11-14
Lk 2:1-14

God’s grace has been revealed…

I look forward to Christmas now even more than before, when it was about presents and parties. With my nephew and niece both studying in London, and my sister (their mum) on a self-quarantine after flying back from Europe, there is less of a ‘celebratory’ feel at home. However, my heart eagerly awaits the ringing of the bells at mass to herald in the birth of Jesus.

Both of us stood by our phones to book Christmas Eve mass last week and we were thrilled to get our seats. For me, this is what Christmas is about — the coming of Christ. It is the ultimate present any Christian can receive — to have Christ born again within their hearts. And as I look back on a year fraught with challenges and changes (oh, I got yet another resignation a few days ago), I thank God for guiding me through the twists and turns and delivering me into the light yet again. Truly, He is a God that doesn’t forsake nor forget us, especially not in our darkest hours (I have had quite a few this year).

A recent homily for our affable parish priest included a story about a conversation between a husband and wife. The wife, yearning for a diamond necklace, had been hinting to her husband about a dream she had been having in the lead up to Christmas. She told her husband that somehow, it always ended with her wearing a diamond necklace. Her husband, ever loving and ever patient, just replied, “You will get whatever you dreamed about on Christmas Day.” So after getting home from midnight mass, the wife hurried to the tree and looked for her present. It was so beautifully wrapped and was in the shape of a box. Opening it up expectantly, her smile turned into a quizzical look as she realised that her hubby her given her a book titled ‘How To Interpret Dreams’. Fr B reminded us that sometimes, too much expectation can lead to disappointment. Yet, what is Christmas without any form of expectation?

Brothers and sisters, we can always expect much from God because at the end of every year, He gives us the ultimate present. It sure beats any other thing that anyone else can give us.

This Christmas, my wish for everyone is that you all receive Christ in your hearts and keep Him there and never let Him go. He is a gift that our God has given to us freely and a gift that can be given to others, as long as we treasure and cherish Him. Let us spend this time with our families, loved ones, spouses, children, ministry members, colleagues, community and spread His love around. Then let us reach out to those who doubt, the poor, the disadvantaged in society, the oppressed, those who suffer abuse, those who live in squallor, those who yearn for a loving touch or to hear words of love spoken to them. Let us all be instruments of God’s grace.     

(Today’s OXYGEN by Desmond Soon)

Prayer: My Lord my God, Your might is boundless, Your grace is endless. We pray that we will never be too busy with life to forget that. May we always be in awe of Your majesty.

Thanksgiving: Thank you Lord, for all the beauty that You have placed in our midst. We are grateful that you have given us the hearts and minds to serve you and to spread your gospel of love to all around us.

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