WSC Reflection December 19, 2021

4th Sunday of Advent (Cycle C, Year II)

Community Word: Children of the Father live in joyful hope, peace and love for the coming of Jesus, our Savior.
Theme: We prepare for the coming of Jesus, our Savior, when like Mary, we humbly obey the will of God.
Promise: “Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled.” (Lk 1:45)

Reflection:
The theme for the 4th Sunday of Advent is meaningful as it speaks of the very purpose of our life – “For this is the will of my father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day,” (John 6:40). Indeed, this is the will of God for all of us, to be in the heavenly Kingdom for “our citizenship is in heaven…” (Phil 3:20).
For us who have been members of community know quite well that, accepting and obeying the will of God for our eternal life is not easy. As the Lord himself said, “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it,” (Mat 7: 13-14). Thus, our preparation for our “journey home” does not start and end during the Advent season, but it is a life-long commitment.
There are many ways on how to live our Christian faith. First and foremost is the calling of Christ for us to be “…perfect, as your Father in heaven is perfect,” (Mat. 5: 48). This perfection is to be taken in the context of “love for one another” which Christ is referring to, and not to any or every other thing; thus, the teaching of Jesus “be merciful, as your Father also is merciful” (Lk 6:36) regards not a perfection of degree. That is to say, not that men may, can or ought to be as perfect in love, as to the degree of it, as God is; that is impossible. But when we profess God to be our Father, we ought to imitate him, particularly on how we sincerely express our love to men or other people.
According to St. Ignatius de Loyola, there are “Three Degrees of Humility.” Humility serves as the heart of one who has chosen to model his or her life on the example, teaching, and mission of Christ. It is a virtue which all of us, no matter what state of life we may be in, should seek to develop.
First is humility for the sake of salvation. This is the base line humility. It is necessary to turn away from the seductive power of sin and toward a life following God. “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord,” (Rom 6:23). Human as we are, to sin is part of our lives. But as proclaimed in 1 John 1:19, “if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” How often do we need to go to confession? Our community rule exhorts us to avail of the Sacrament of Confession at least every two months or whenever we commit mortal sin.
Second is humility for a detached life. The second degree calls us to a freedom from our preferences, habits, and anything else that we consider to be ours so that we may more readily follow Christ, just as Christ followed the will of God the Father above all else. The Kingdom of God is not this world’s dreamland, but rather, something of heaven. As such, some of the commonly accepted ways of the world, such as, honors, riches, security, are not always beneficial but distracting to the Kingdom of God.
And, third is humility for love of the poor Christ. The third and most pure degree of humility propels us to live a very humble lifestyle similar to Christ’s life, for no other reason than a sincere and profound love for the poor. Rather than concerning itself first with one’s own well-being or with doing the right thing, this degree is centered on nothing more than pure love for Jesus. A perfect example of this is St. Francis of Assisi, a son of a prosperous silk merchant. When he discovered God, he gave up everything. He renounced all his inheritance to serve Christ.
During this season of Advent, we are especially called to deeply reflect or ponder on where we are in the above “Three Degrees of Humility” or in our relationship with our Lord, Jesus Christ. Do we at least meet the first degree of living in a state of grace? Or, as exhorted by Christ, do we try to imitate God, our Father, in ‘loving men?’ Our response will depend on the degree of our love for Him. As He had asked Peter, Christ is also asking us, ‘Do you love me?’
For the promise, “Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled” (Lk 1:45) is conditional as in all other promises of God.
Eternal life needs acceptance and faithful obedience to the will of God.

Prayer:
Almighty Father, thank you for the gift of Your son, Jesus, that we may be saved. Grant us the grace to strive in following His perfect example to accept and obey Your will at all times and in all circumstances that we may claim eternal life.
Reflection Questions:

  1. How fervent is your relationship with God now?
  2. Are there people you still need to forgive, or whom you need to seek forgiveness from? What is your resolve on this?

This Week’s Daily Mass Reading Guide:
Dec 19, 2021 (Sun) – Mi 5:1-4a/ Ps 80:2-3, 15-16, 18-19/ Heb 10:5-10/ Lk 1:39-45
Dec 20, 2021 (Mon) – Is 7:10-14/ Ps 24:1-2, 3-4ab, 5-6/ Lk 1:26-38
Dec 21, 2021 (Tue) – Sg 2:8-14/ Ps 33:2-3, 11-12, 20-21/ Lk 1:39-45
Dec 22, 2021 (Wed) – 1Sm 1:24-28/ 1Sm 2:1, 4-5, 6-7, 8/ Lk 1:46-56
Dec 23, 2021 (Thu) – Mal 3:1-4, 23-24/ Ps 25:4-5, 8-9, 10, 14/ Lk 1:57-66
Dec 24, 2021 (Fri) – 2Sm 7:1-5,8-12,14,16/ Ps 89:2-3, 4-5, 27, 29/ Lk 1:67-69
Dec 25, 2021 (Sat) – Is 52:7-10/ Ps 98:1-6/ Heb 1:1-6/ Jn 2:1-18

“Ignorance of the Bible is ignorance of Christ. Read your Bible daily!”

 
 

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