11 December, Sunday — Joy

3rd Sunday of Advent

Isa 35:1-6,10
Jas 5:7-10
Mt 11:2-11

“… yet the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he is.”

Blessed New Year!

As we begin the new liturgical year, how wonderful it is to be reminded that we all should be filled with Hope, Peace, Joy & Love as we await the coming of our Saviour’s birth.

In my reflection today, I was struck by the phrase ‘Courage! Do not be afraid.’ Most of the time we see this phrase used in conjunction of encouraging us to trust God more, but today, I feel God is inviting us to have the courage to live out this Hope, Peace, Joy and Love, more so of Joy this week.

Many times, we too see ourselves unworthy of experiencing such grace. Jesus, in our Gospel today, affirms that ‘a greater than John the Baptist has never been seen; yet the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he is.’

Not only does God wish for us to desire this grace, but He desires this for us too, to encounter His Hope, Peace, Joy and Love every single day of our lives.

There is nothing we can do to earn this, but we need the courage to live this. Those are not just feelings, but a choice.

For some of us, we may feel that year after year, Christmas is slowly beginning to lose it’s meaning. We have tried so many ways to bring meaning to Christmas, yet it doesn’t seem to bring us any closer to Christ.

James, in the 2nd reading, shares that, “You too have to be patient; do not lose heart, because the Lord’s coming will be soon.” It is not a matter of if, but when. Brothers and sisters, let us not get caught up in the what we should or should not do, but who we are doing all these for.

Lord, give us the courage and patience to know that in living out Your graces, even though we may not encounter you tangibly, we can still ‘prepare your way before you.’

May our lives be filled with ‘shouts for joy, everlasting joy on their faces; joy and gladness…and sorrow and lament be ended.’

Amen!

(Today’s OXGEN by Benjamin Mao)

Prayer: Dear Lord, we pray that we may have the courage to live out the Gospel in our world today. That no matter how little we think of ourselves, we are that great to You. Lord, may we continue to grow in holiness, to make room in our lives, to anticipate your coming, to proclaim with courage ‘let Your will be done unto me’. Amen.

Thanksgiving: Thank you Lord, for the gift of joy. Thank you for showing us what it means to live with joy. Thank you for giving us a chance, no matter how unworthy we think of ourselves. Thank you for loving us. Amen.

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