4th Sunday of Advent 2017 – Obedience As We Wait

The whole season of Advent is one of anticipation, of eager awaiting of Jesus Christ, the Messiah who brings hope, peace, joy and salvation to all mankind. Like the Israelites in Babylon exiled from Jerusalem in the first reading, on earth we are all waiting for our heavenly homeland feeling many a time, lost, abandoned and disillusioned.

The savior of all, whom the prophets of the past spoke about in the second reading, has been born in utter simplicity as a baby, a human being, like us. The great and almighty Word of God, the Son of the Father, Jesus, has chosen to live among sinful and ungrateful humanity. From day one, Jesus was rejected and deprived of every place of shelter in his town and visited by “shepherds” who were despised outcasts (the “gypsies” or illegal immigrants of that time). If Jesus was born in similar conditions today, where would that be?

The word became flesh and dwelt among us precisely to be present in the miseries of the world. Jesus desires to bless every person and liberate all who are enslaved by fear, hatred, anger, loneliness, money, power, status, addictions, oppression, hopelessness, indifference, passivity in life, passions of the flesh, etc. Whether we are aware or not, we are often times enslaved to something or someone, and unable to live in the light, in grace and truth.

Are you willing to accept that Jesus can fulfill your life more than anything or anyone of this earth can? Or are you going to reject Him from entering fully into your life and cause him to sleep out in the cold again with nowhere to rest his head?

When we learn to anticipate Jesus’ coming fully into our lives with the right spirit, we will surely want to embrace rather than reject Him.

Blessed Christmas! http://www.one.org.sg

T’was The Night Before Christmas

According to legend, Clement Clarke Moore wrote his immortal poem, A Visit from St. Nicholas, also known as The Night Before Christmas, for his family on Christmas Eve 1822. He never intended that it be published, but a family friend, Miss Harriet Butler, learned of the poem sometime later from Moore’s children. She copied it into her album, and submitted it to the editor of the Troy (New York) Sentinel where it made its first appearance in print on December 23, 1823. Soon, the poem began to be reprinted in other newspapers, almanacs and magazines, with the first appearance in a book in The New York Book of Poetry, edited by Charles Fenno Hoffman, in 1837.

It was not until 1844, however, that Moore himself acknowledged authorship in a volume of his poetry entitled Poems, published at the request of his children. One hundred and eighty years later it is the most-published, most-read, most-memorized and most-collected book in all of Christmas literature.