#1 Christmas 2012 Reflection: What can I do?
Gospel Reading: Luke 3: 7-18
In the Gospel today, we read that the people asked John the Baptist, “What should we do?”. I think the more important thing to do is to ask ourselves, WHAT CAN I DO? We ask our hearts what we, as humans and as Christians, can contribute in order to bring greater healing, restoration, hope, justice and peace to our communities and to the world at large.
Gone now are the days when you will only attend mass or a worship service only to feel good about yourself and the community you belong to. Yes, we find spiritual nourishment in participating in these Sunday rituals but for a person who is maturing and growing in his or her spiritual journey, that is not enough. Inspired by what we learn from our personal time with God and our brethren, we find the need to do more for the world.
Many of us when faced with big questions try to skirt around the answers and solutions that are already in the back of our heads. I think that this is a universal thing. Alam na natin ang sagot sa ating mga tanong ngunit ang hirap para sa atin tanggapin. Young as I am in this ministry I see myself struggling spiritually every now and then. I have my moments of ups and downs. May mga pagkakataon na parang ayaw ko na. Gusto ko na lang ng simpleng buhay. Babalik na lang ako sa pag-upo sa likod ng simbahan tuwing linggo. In my struggles patuloy kong tinatanong ang Diyos; para ba talaga ako sa ganitong “calling”? May “calling” nga ba talaga ako? Or kung meron man, dito ba talaga ako tinatawag? Questions and uncertainties keep haunting me and yet that small voice within me, as well as the situations around me, keep leading me back to the answer that I always knew all along. I keep asking God and other people for a sign, and yet whenever I am given a sign, sometimes I dismiss it. I know for a fact that many of us ask the same question and experience the same struggle when figuring out what to do with our careers and with the rest of our lives.
From Rev. Brent Hawkes of MCC Toronto I learned that our spiritual development is our personal responsibility and our personal choice; that at a certain point in our faith-journey or spiritual life, we need to step up and do more from passions, commitments and ideas within ourselves and not outside of us. To a certain degree we need to give up our dependency from church authorities to tell us what to do. Rev Durrell Watkins of MCC Sunshine Cathedral said that how our human nature is what makes us truly divine; that our physical bodies and our minds are the hands, the mouths, the feet that work, talk and walk in the world in bringing God’s love to those who are broken, lost and hungry.
Doing What I Can Do
In the first day of our Simbang Gabi reflection we ask our most divine selves: What can I do for Jesus and for the people around me? And as we figure out what to do let’s connect with our understanding of ourselves and ask: “Which among my passions, my strengths, my resources, my talents and my ideas can be used for the common good?
Sometimes we look for signs and answers outside of ourselves, when in truth the signs and answers we have been looking for are always with us and within us; we only have to believe, to trust and reach out from within to be able to do great wonders for the world, just the way God intended us to do. And sometimes we have to stop asking for signs and just do what we think is best given the situation and our resources and skills. Sometimes we just have to initiate and stop waiting for people to tell us what to do. More importantly, sometimes we just have to carry on, continue serving the way we know how even while we are still struggling and asking questions.
Heavenly Parent God you have made us in your wonderful image and glorious likeness. Teach us to find the confidence and the trust to look into ourselves in order to give more and do more for the world. Amen.
Written by: Bro. Joseph Tiu Edited by: Red Macalalad