Day 7, Simbang gabi, cycle A, reading: Lk. 1: 46 - 56
A continuation from yesterday's reading is the overflowing gift of the Holy Spirit. And when the Holy Spirit flows, there is real joy. What is false joy and what is real joy?
From Mary's Canticle we can detect three things that are sources of real joy:
1. When God is proclaimed above all else - the false joy will exult oneself, but true joy has God as our deliverer. For Mary this is clear, "My heart rejoices in God my Savior."
2. When the poor are given justice - False joy arises in exulting one's wealth. True joy stems from exulting the poor and the lowly. We may always have the poor with us, but to keep them poor is terrible indeed. We could have at least done something in our lifetime to change the outlook between rich and poor. After all, we are all poor in God's eyes.
3. When God has come to help Israel, his servant - that in everything that happens to our lives, it is the saving action of God all along. False is the joy of a person who accomplishes by his own power, and he does everything to maintain it. True joy results in humility before God and celebrating life because God has visited his people.
If we have true joy in our hearts, it is easier to see Jesus this Christmas. Everything is the action of God!