We are progressing fast through the season of Advent, preparing our hearts and minds to wel¬come the Saviour into our lives in a new way this Christmas. The one fact that runs through each Reading in today’s liturgy is the specific calling each person receives from God our Father and the availability of His Grace and anointing to fulfil the mission on earth.
The First Reading is the prophecy about the Messiah Himself. It is given through prophet Isaiah. The Son of God who was to come to the world as the Saviour of the world, had a clear understanding and knowledge about His mission and He delighted in His Lord (The Father) for giving Him everything He needed to fulfil His mission. Then we come to the praise song of The Blessed Mother, having just received the news about Her own mission and calling. She too rejoices in the Perfect Goodness of God, who is mindful of every detail of Her life and also of all His people.
The Gospel proclamation outlines the mission statement of St John the Baptist, the forerunner to the Messiah. The wise and learned people struggled to understand his purpose, though they would have studied all the prophesies about the Messiah. Yet, St John the Baptist was clear about his own mission, as the voice of the one calling in the wilderness, to prepare the way for the Lord.
Our Lord Jesus, the Blessed Mother and John the Baptist who played vital and crucial roles in God’s salvation plan seemed comfortable with their individual mission, because they seemed to have known what God had spoken over their lives. God’s Word spoken through the prophets of the Old Testament had taken root in their hearts and had come alive in them. None of them had to strive in their own strength to accomplish their mission, hence we do not hear any of them complaining or fretting about their purpose or mission in life.
How about our own lives? Are we aware of the mission that has been entrusted to us? How familiar are we about the words God our Father has spoken over our lives? What is His will for our lives? When we try to answer these questions from our heart, we must admire the sad fact that more often than not, our mission in life is worldly, revolving around money, power, luxury and status. Often we are no different to someone who does not know the Lord Jesus. We want our own will to be done in our lives though we repeatedly pray in the Lord’s Prayer, “Thy will be done”. Our responses to life situations and crises are more or less the same as non-believers, and are nowhere close to the Commandment given by our Saviour, to love others as He has loved us. Our peace and joy often depend on the love and ap-preciation of others. Otherwise we become angry, reactive, sad and depressed, complaining about various situations and people who do not see eye to eye with us.
In today’s Second Reading St. Paul speaks to us, Christians. We who are called to live an in- Christ experience, are instructed to do three things. We are to rejoice always, pray continually and give thanks to God in all circumstances. We are called to do so not sometimes or when things are going well for us, but always, continually and in all situations. In short our lives are to be one joyful experience, in prayer and thanksgiving. Is this humanly possible? Not unless we live “in-Christ “! We move from a life “with- Christ “ to “in-Christ “, through the Baptism in the Holy Spirit. It is when we accept God’s unconditional love for us, giving the undiluted truth of our hearts to the Lord and receiving His forgiveness, and choosing to surrender our lives to the Lord. We begin this new in-Christ life at the Four Steps Retreat (or Life in the Spirit seminar), being filled with the Holy Spirit.
I like to share about the witness of a member of our prayer community. This sister’s only daughter had left home, after a baseless misunder¬standing, severing all ties with the parents. Her husband was a non believer too. Initially she sought from the Lord, a miraculous return of the daughter. She walked into our prayer meeting while she was strug¬gling in this crisis several years ago, expecting a miracle. Yet what happened was that she was filled with the Father’s love and totally surrendered to His will and authority. She received the Baptism of the Holy Spirit and started to grow in the Spirit. Even today her daughter is still estranged from the family but she is overflowing with the Joy of the Holy Spirit. By the way, the unthinkable is happening and her husband is accepting the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Let’s pray for the Church to build up a people who live and believe the Word of God.
Prayer: Abba Father, let Thy Will be done in our lives and our world as it is in heaven. Amen.