Testimony of Love

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

For the works that the Father has given me to finish— the very works that I am doing— testify 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.

“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 weightier than that of John. For the works that the Father has given me to finish—the very works that I am doing—testify that the Father has sent me.” (John 5:33-36)

Reflection

In today’s first reading, the prophet Isaiah (56:1-2) reminded God’s Chosen People: “Observe what is right, do what is just; for my salvation is about to come, and my justice about to be revealed. Happy is the man who does this, the son of man who holds to it; who keeps the Sabbath without desecrating it, and keeps his hand from doing any evil.” These words may be intended for us today as well. Observing what is right and doing what is just do not simply mean avoiding sin or wrongdoing, but actively performing our Christian duties towards the least and the lost among God’s children whenever and wherever we encounter them. As our “Salvation (Christ) is about to come”, how well have we prepared ourselves to welcome Him?

We all know the significance of Christmas. It is a season of giving. 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 we are giving 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 joy to those who need it most, the sick and dying, like the helpless who have been abandoned by their families. Our community received this privilege of sharing our time, talent and treasure last Saturday (after our breakfast meeting) in our “Bucket Challenge” Christmas project. Some of our young, creative members raised funds to buy plastic buckets full of grocery items that we gave as gifts to more than 40 indigent and aged residents of an old folks’ home. We fed them, danced and sang with them, and shared with them the spirit of Christmas. We gave them a party. As Jesus said, “When you give a party, 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). “Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and He will repay him for his deed” (Prov.19:17). “Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God” (Heb.13:16). “In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35). Truly, 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.

You have blessed us, Lord, more than we can ever be a blessing to others. You have shown us how we can be adopted children of Your Father by sharing with the least of Your children the joy of the Christmas season. Amen.

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