Christmas in the Philippines

[REFLECTIONS] A man sent from God

Word and Life Publications

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[REFLECTIONS] A man sent from God

Photo by Jean-Baptiste D. on Unsplash

3rd Sunday of Advent: John the Baptist was no self-promoter. He came 'for testimony . . . to give testimony to the light.' He laid no claim to anything else but that. He had no ulterior motives.

(This series of reflections is courtesy of Word and Life Publications, publisher of ‘Patnubay sa Misa’ at ‘Euchalette.’ Rappler is sharing these reflections for those preparing for Christmas.)

Isaiah 61:1-2.10-11; 1 Thessalonians 5:16-24; John 1:6-8.19-28

The world of social media is now full of self-promoters and self-entitled, spoiled brats. Psychologists have long been talking about the narcissism epidemic that has ravaged the human society far earlier than COVID-19 did. (No, I am not talking solely of digital natives and younger ones. There, too, are digital dinosaurs who talk and act like the world revolved around them and their selfish concerns).

On rare occasions, though, we spot men (and women) whose “beauty in mould or in mind” catches the world’s attention. John the Baptist was one such “rara avis” (rare bird). He definitely deserved the description of one “sent from God.”

John the Baptist was no self-promoter. He came “for testimony . . . to give testimony to the light.” He laid no claim to anything else but that. He had no ulterior motives. He did not dole out his “truth” to gain anything for himself. A good name? He was quick to state, “I am not the Christ.” “I am not Elijah.” “I am not the prophet.” How’s that, for a starter? The plain truth . . . no frills . . . no claims to fame and glory . . . no false narratives, fake diplomas and made- up academic and professional credentials.

“I am the voice of one crying out in the desert, make straight the way of the Lord.”

The reality of the desert is by no means gone in our lives. We still grovel in the desert-like world of sin, selfishness, greed and an aggressive claim to self-entitlement. Today, though, we get a refreshing reminder that not all is lost. We do have reason to rejoice, for a variety of reasons.

John the Baptist’s examples convict us. His words criticize us. His same words energize us to faith, that in turn, rouses us to prayer and action. He was, after all, a man sent from God. – Word and Life Publications/Rappler.com

This reflection is part of the Patnubay ng Misa, which can be downloaded at the Word and Life Publications site.

Here are more reflections and stories about Christmas in the Philippines

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