Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Day 9, Simbang Gabi: 24 December

Blessed be the Lord!

Luke 1:67-79

In this last day before we commemorate the birth of the Lord Jesus, we remind ourselves that we are Christmas gifts being prepared by the Lord to be given to others.  We hope to inculcate the various qualities that are important in the formation of that gift - integrity, offering, obedience, love, mission, etc.  The last quality I would like us to reflect is blessing.

Blessing or "berakhah" means to acknowledge God as the source of blessings.  David in the first reading desires to give a house to the Lord as a sign of thanksgiving.  But it is the Lord who blessed David and renews an oath with him.

In the Gospel, Zechariah prays the Benedictus, "Blessed be the Lord the God of Israel for he has visited his people."  "He has raised up for us a Mighty Savior" and "He has come set his people free."

Let our lives be an expression of utmost thanksgiving because of God's blessings instead of asking and asking from the Lord as if we haven't received any.  The Lord has given us so much that He gave us even His own Son.  Let us acknowledge all gifts of the Lord.

Second, blessing carries with it a wish for good fortune. "Blessed art thou, and it shall be well with thee" (Ps. cxxvii, 2)  It carries every good intention one has for the other.

Third, it signifies the sanctification or dedication of a person or thing to some sacred purpose; "Christ took bread and blessed, and broke" (Matthew 26:26)   Pray that everything we do may be sanctified and consecrated - our family, our work, the whole universe.  Let every heart be consecrated to the Lord.

We may now be ready to enjoy the real Christmas - Jesus Christ.

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