A Testimony of Love


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

These works that I perform testify on my behalf that the Father has sent me.
(John 5:36)

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

[Jesus said], “You have sent 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 enjoy his light. I have testimony greater than that of John. For the works that the Father has given me to complete — the very works that I am doing — testify that the Father has sent me.” (John 5:33-36)

Reflection

Today begins the first of the early morning novena masses (misa de gallo) before Christmas day. For many of us, the thought that preoccupies us most is: What do I give this Christmas? Never mind the gifts that are perfunctorily given to our loved ones and inaanaks every year. Anyway, Christmas is still more than a week away. What is more important is what do we give to our Lord Jesus, Who is the Birthday Celebrant, after all?

What we can give to Jesus this Christmas are our good works, especially in giving gifts to the poorest of the poor in our city. 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). For 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.

Yes, the season of Christmas is the best time to give witness to our love for the Baby in the manger, Who is the greatest manifestation of the Father’s love for mankind. It is not so much the gift, (what is a few hundred Pesos, after all? Or a few thousands for the wealthier ones among us?), but the giving, which is our way of saying “God loves you”, making the recipient feel the spirit of Christmas. Let us imitate John the Baptist, by being a lamp to others; let us also follow our Lord Jesus in our own small way, by “being sent” to give cheer to God’s little ones, and truly be witnesses of HIS great love. This is far more important than the sacrifice of waking up very early in the morning for our misa de gallo novena. Enjoy the blessings of Christmas!

May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face shine on us— so that your ways may be known on earth, your salvation among all nations. May the peoples praise you, God; may all the peoples praise you. May the nations be glad and sing for joy, for you rule the peoples with equity and guide the nations of the earth. May the peoples praise you, God; may all the peoples praise you. (Psalm 67:1-5) May we praise and adore You through the kindness that we show to others. Amen.

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