the 8th day: The favor of God

Things are unfolding now that the kingdom of God is already here.  Jesus has started to unite us to the Father, probabaly even before the beginning of time.

At the time of John birth, note that Jesus was still there, in the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary.  He may be the one preparing John to be his great messenger.  He is also actively preparing us to meet him this Christmas.  As he prepares John through his presence and blessing, he may also have been preparing us even before were born - to be with him and for him.

Perhaps, the etymology of the John could also give us a hint on our vocation as heralds of the Gospel.  John came from the Hebrew word Ioannes which means "God has favored" or God has given freely and overwhelmingly.  "Pinagkalooban ng Diyos", it is God's free will to give us his grace.  Could we detect all the graces we received from the time of our conception till now?  Everything is God's grace.  Offer them back to the Lord is total thanksgiving now that we know that our lives are themselves products of the overwhelming grace of God.

Finally, God's graciousness extends to helping us respond to radiate his love.  This is totally manifest in John, who even at his mother's womb, leapt for joy at the coming of his successor or the one whom he would serve.  This unconditional response is a picture of the glory of God which has existed even before time began but was almost destroyed by sin.  Thanks be to God for Jesus Christ who sends precursors to prepare his way.

May we be inspired this Christmas season to totally unite ourselves with Christ who is the source of all goodness and graciousness and faithfully serve him now and always.