S is for Sent
Click here to see an overview of the readings/reflections for all nine nights of Simbang Gabi.
At this particular time of the year, I can’t help but read the word “sent” without thinking of all the Christmas cards and newsletters that are filling people’s mailboxes. Some are filled with photos and details of the past year, others are simple cards with Christmas greetings, a chance to see how quickly friends’ children have grown and find out what our childhood friends have been up to. All of them, small reminders that our loved ones are thinking of us.
In the first and Gospel readings for tonight, we hear about God’s messenger being sent to prepare the way before him, the one we now know to be the prophet, John the Baptist. The one sent to testify to the light (Jn 1:7).
And in many ways, the work that John the Baptist began, to prepare the way before Christ, is still work that is being asked of us today. As Christians baptized into the life, death, and resurrection of Christ, we now share in Christ’s vocation as priest, prophet, and royalty.
And so, we are also sent to be that voice crying out in the wilderness. We are also called to testify to the light so that others might believe through us.
Fr. Brian actually wrote a homily for the 3rd Sunday of Advent on this very idea — that our lives are the letters written and sent by God to prepare people’s hearts for him. And so instead of trying to recreate that same message, I thought I’d have you reflect on his homily on this last day of our devotional together. Here it is: God’s Lifelong Love Letter
And so, as our 9-night journey draws to a close, I hope that I’ve helped some of you jog your memory and that these past few days have been a reminder of where you came from, who you are — someone who has been grafted into the Covenant, who is set apart, and in whose name you are being sent — the God of Hope, the God of Surprises, the God Who Comforts, the God Who is Always With Us.
May the Christmas season bring for you the joy of knowing God’s boundless love for us. My prayer for you for the upcoming year is this:
…that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, rooted and grounded in love,
may have strength to comprehend with all the holy ones what is the breadth and length and height and depth,
and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
– Ephesians 3:17-19
Merry Christmas, friends!