Gospel: Lk. 7: 19 - 23
Day 1: the start of Simbang Gabi. Experts say that the first impression is always crucial to the success or failure of an endeavor.
Same is true with faith. We may start our "evening masses" to anticipate Christmas, but if we have started on a wrong foot, chances are we may not recover and see the light of the essence of this sacred event. Christ may not be born in our lives.
Let us invest in this first day to clear our intentions. In order to celebrate Christmas worthily we have to trust God to the fullest. Learn from the first reading, "I am the Lord unrivalled; there is no other god beside me." (Is 45: 6 ff) Be led by the power of the Lord and he will put our lives in order.
Second, pray to be strong in times of trials as Jesus is. "I did not promise you a comfortable life; but I promise you a meaningful life", so goes a saying. Pray for a sturdy faith that even in times of trials and we start thinking that God is not granting our prayer, we shall not falter.
Third, pray that no matter what, we shall be faithful. Notice that in the most interesting stories, the body is as important as the ending. When that time comes, would we still be interested in the unfolding of the message of a story?
Pray for all these and we shall see Jesus born in a manger. Only the faithful person would know that it is the Lord the world is celebrating this Christmas.