Witness to the Light of Christ

John 5:33-36
Isa 56:1-3a,6-8 / Psa 67

…these works that I perform — testify that the Father has sent me.
(John 5:36)

Let good works witness to His love
And herald that Christmas is near;
May we learn the true message of
God’s Gift Who brings Yuletide cheer.

(Jesus spoke to the Jews): “You sent emissaries to John and he has testified to the truth. Not that I accept human testimony; but I mention it that you may be saved. John was a lamp that burned and gave light, and you chose for a time to rejoice in his light. But I have testimony greater than that of John. For the works that the Father has given me to accomplish — these works that I perform — testify that the Father has sent me.” (John 5:33-36)

Reflection

St. John, the evangelist (not the Baptist), who was the most beloved apostle was very fond of describing the Lord Jesus as the light. In the first chapter of his Gospel, he wrote of Jesus: “What came to be through Him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” (Jn.1:4-5) He also wrote about John the Baptist: “There was a man sent from God whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all might believe. He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light.” (Jn.1:6-8) For a time, many of the Jews were following John the Baptist, because he baptized them, and they believed that he was a man of God, a prophet sent for the expiation of their sins. During the 400 years or so that they were in darkness (for God had not sent another prophet after Malachi), the coming of John was like the break of dawn, heralding the Messianic Age. John was the foremost witness of Jesus, addressing Him as “the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (Jn.1:29).

Like St. John the Baptist, we are all called to give witness to our fellowship with Jesus Christ, especially during this season that celebrates His birth. How do we make this Yuletide season meaningful as His witnesses? How do we testify to His love this Christmas? Never mind the gifts that we perfunctorily give to our loved ones and inaanaks every year. What is more important is: what do we give to our Lord Jesus, Who is after all, the Birthday Celebrant?

What we can give to Jesus this Christmas are our good works, that testify to the love of God, especially in giving gifts to the poorest of the poor in our city, and visiting the inmates in our city’s rehabilitation center. As Jesus Himself said, “When you give a feast, do not invite your friends or relatives, or rich neighbors, in case they may invite you back and you have repayment. Rather, when you have a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind; blessed indeed will you be because of their inability to repay you. For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous” (Lk.14:12-14). It is the good works that we perform for the least of His children that testify to our love for Jesus, and the best gift that we can give Him this Christmas. May you be His light of love, shining in the darkness of suffering souls.

You have showered us, Lord, with much blessings of love, friends, brotherhood, and material things. It is but fitting that we reciprocate Your care and goodness to others, especially the sick, the poor and the incarcerated. May we be Your light for them during this season of love. Amen.

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