Monday, December 20, 2010

The fruits of Christmas

Day 6, Simbang Gabi, cycle A, reading: Luke 1:39-45


For the fifth and sixth day, we turn exclusively to Mary as she assists her cousin Elizabeth (day 5, simbang gabi), but the service turned into a song (Day 6) because the Holy Spirit is at work, the Holy Spirit that caused everyone to be jumping with joy, for Mary to be filled with grace and for Elizabeth who was humbled that "the mother of my Lord would come to me, and my baby in my womb leapt for joy"  eventually Mary uttering the beautiful Magnificat, a prayer most especially dedicated to the Lord.  Tell me, are these your usual feelings as a Christian?

I'll give a hint on the fruits of the Holy Spirit as reflected by the gospel:

1. Generosity - service, selflessness; not a tinge of selfishness,  of thinking only about what is good for oneself.  Would you rather see a world filled with generous people or selfish people?  How do we inspire others to generosity and service?

2. Real joy - the joy inside Elizabeth because she was visited by the "Mother of the Lord".  Joy for the other, not envy; love, not jealousy.  What area in others' lives would you feel most joyful?  As we start admiring others, we begin to connect and life becomes relational - "Love one another as I have loved you."

3. Life - even inside the womb, not death.  Which would you rather see - life or death? Fruitfulness or barrenness.  Sooner or later, generosity or the lack of it accounts for life or death around us.  Choose the path to life by offering ourselves.

Then Christ will be alive, breathing, and his heart pumping for us this Christmas.

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