Sunday, December 26, 2010

Fall on your knees

Merry Christmas to one and all!
I just want to share a wonderful encounter I had with the Lord this Christmas.

I was at Mass on Christmas Day, it was just after Communion, and I was praying when the choir started to sing O Holy Night for the Thanksgiving Hymn. As I reflected on having just received Christ, the words of the song started to strike me. How we in the world wearied by sin is pining for the Lord, and His coming frees us and fills us with joy and light. And of course when the choir sang the chorus, I trembled with the awe of just being on my knees before our Lord, imagining what the shepherds might have felt kneeling before the baby Jesus in the simple manger.

I hope that this Christmas was as good for you as it was for me. God Bless.

O Holy Night! The stars are brightly shining,
It is the night of the dear Saviour's birth.
Long lay the world in sin and error pining.
Till He appeared and the Spirit felt its worth.
A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.
Fall on your knees! Oh, hear the angel voices!
O night divine, the night when Christ was born;
O night, O Holy Night , O night divine!
O night, O Holy Night , O night divine!

Led by the light of faith serenely beaming,
With glowing hearts by His cradle we stand.
O'er the world a star is sweetly gleaming,
Now come the wisemen from out of the Orient land.
The King of kings lay thus lowly manger;
In all our trials born to be our friend.
He knows our need, our weakness is no stranger,
Behold your King! Before him lowly bend!
Behold your King! Before him lowly bend!

Truly He taught us to love one another,
His law is love and His gospel is peace.
Chains he shall break, for the slave is our brother.
And in his name all oppression shall cease.
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we,
With all our hearts we praise His holy name.
Christ is the Lord! Then ever, ever praise we,
His power and glory ever more proclaim!
His power and glory ever more proclaim!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Becky Kelley - Where's the Line to See Jesus

Just saw this music video on Youtube.
Found in quite appropriate for reflection on the spirit of Christmas

So where is Jesus in your Christmas this year?

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Novena - Bringing Christ to Others

As we enter into the 3rd Week of Advent, I would like to share with you an encounter which gave me a new way of looking at the season of Advent.

Two years ago, a family invited me over to their home for dinner. As I was making my way to their place, I was making some plans in my mind. Here I am, a seminarian being invited for dinner, I was asking God what could I do for them. And so I decided that, after dinner, just before I left the house, I would suggest if I could lead them into a short time of prayer together as a family.

So after dinner, I was chatting with the parents, and just as I was about to make my big suggestion, they asked me, “brother, would you like to join us in our night prayer?”. I was a bit taken aback by the change in my plans, but still it gave me an opportunity to pray with them, and so I agreed. To my surprise the five children went to their rooms and brought out their bibles. I, myself didn’t bring my bible, but luckily I had an electronic version in my phone, so I said I would use that. It amazed me to see this family coming together every night to pray, reading the bible, especially since the youngest one was only 5 years old.

To top it off, at the end of the sharing, the mother asked them what would be their advent project for the year. They finally agreed on donating food items to the Boys’ Brigade Share-A-Gift project, which gives food to the needy. They made plans the next day to go down to NTUC to buy the items, and the youngest even volunteered the $20 ang pow her grandma had given to her.

I went home that night, truly humbled, by what the Lord had given me the opportunity to experience. Here I was thinking that I would be leading this family in prayer, and there the Lord threw aside all my plans in showing my the deep faith of the family. As amazing as that is, that is not the only thing that I took back that night. This family challenged me in terms, what was I doing during this Advent period. How was I preparing myself for the arrival of the Lord.

I thought that I was doing a lot in my prayer, reflecting on the mystery of Christ’s birth. Not being caught up with the materialistic, consumerism of Christmas shopping. And here this family was not looking at themselves, but thinking of others and how they can share their blessings with those who were in need.

What this family did, was what our dear Blessed Mother herself did. After the angel Gabriel told her that she was going to be the Mother of Jesus, she could have spent that time praying, reflecting on her own blessings. But instead she set off to her cousin Elizabeth’s place, because she was in her old age, and 6 months pregnant, needing all the help she can get.

What our Blessed Mother brought to Elizabeth was more than just physical aid, but she brought the child Jesus that she was carrying in her. When we look at ourselves today, can we also imitate Mother Mary. Are we carrying Christ within us, in all the blessings, the love that God has showered on us? Or is Christ outside of us, that we are still waiting for him to be born in our lives? If He is in our lives, are we able to bring that love of God to those around us, especially those in need?

As we come in prayer to Our Lady, and adore the Lord Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, let us pray that in the remaining 2 weeks of Advent, we may recognize that Christ is dwelling in each of us, and we may take the time to make His love present to others too. Amen.