The WORD in other words (2021) by Fr. Edwin Fernandez, SVD (DWC, Laoag City)
December 30 / Octave of Christmas
Visiting older and retired confreres in Villa Cristo Rey (Quezon City) gives me a lot of inspiration and strength to persevere in my religious-missionary vocation. Seeing confreres who used to be very active in the ministry, spend much time in prayer, silence, and fraternal sharing serves as a powerful reminder of the deeper value of our vocation. They help us realize that in order to be fruitful in our mission, we should always strive to be contemplative in action.
The Gospel reading today presents an old widow named Anna, who never left the temple, but worshipped night and day with fasting and prayer. Her prayerfulness and profound intimacy with God led her to recognize that special moment when the baby Jesus was brought to the temple by his parents.
Overwhelmed with gratitude and love, Anna spoke about the child Jesus and the life-changing significance of his coming. She was thrilled to see how God bestowed His most precious Gift not only to Israel but also to the whole world.
Just like many in Israel, she had waited with great patience for the fulfillment of God’s promise. God finally satisfied her longing with the privilege of seeing, hearing, and touching the Savior of humankind. Her life was now complete and overflowing with gratitude, joy, and hope for God’s people.
As we celebrate the season of Christmas, let us give ourselves time for silence and prayer. It is in our intimacy with God, and not in the distractions and noise of the world that we can recognize the face of Jesus, understand the reason for his coming, and make ourselves ready to be loved and transformed by Him.