Simbang Gabi, day 1 in the Philippines

Are you ready to receive Christ?

John 5, 33 - 36

In the Philippines, our longing for Christmas starts this very day as we are excited to go to the Misa de Gallo so very early in the morning.  This is a sure sign that the Christmas spirit is well in us.

The readings also reflect a more intense preparation for Christmas with St. John the Baptist as a model.  Jesus commended John for being a model; thus, we are asked to do the same.

How do we actually prepare for Christ?

First, check on every external observance of Christmas.  Is there a change in the way we conduct our lives; on how we live out the ideals of Christian faith?  Grant that we may reflect Jesus.

Second, check on our hearts.  Are they free from profanation as was mentioned in the first reading?  Are our hearts ready for Christ?  Are we ready to love as he loves?

Third, check on the offerings of our lives.  They should be like water flowing from Jesus to us to our neighbors who badly need them.  Our offerings should reflect Jesus' offering in total humility just to grant us salvation.

Christmas is just around the corner.  But as men and women of faith, we know Christmas is already here within us and around us.  With Christ in us, celebrate Christmas!