There are times when we eagerly hope for something to happen or for someone to come into our lives. We have much cherished dreams that we want to come true tulad ng pagkakaroon ng lifetime partner, yumaman, makapasok sa isang magandang company, ma-promote sa trabaho, manalo sa lotto, manalo sa isang contest na sinalihan, makapasok sa magandang unibersidad, etc. Minsan nga pinagdadasal natin araw-araw o pinagno-novena pa nga.
However, in the process of waiting, especially during long periods of waiting, we lose heart, we lose faith and we lose hope. So when the prayer finally gets answered, we are shocked in disbelief. Pag may dumating na tao na napakabait, sweet, caring and loving, we still question, “Siya na nga ba ang the ONE, Lord?”. Pag nakapasa tayo sa entrance exam sa unibersidad na ginusto nating pasukan, we suddenly question our capabilities: “Kaya ko ba talaga dito? Will I be able to really survive and finish in this university God?”
A week ago I watched a movie entitled, “Marry Me” starring Lucy Liu. Lucy played a character who’s very intelligent, creative and had this fairy-tale notion of relationships – knight in shining armor, the works. After breaking-up with her boyfriend of two years, she was showered with “words of wisdom” from family and friends urging her to have a more realistic perspective of relationships. She was told to wake-up and face reality. A few minutes into the film she meets a guy who seemed to be so perfect and is everything she wished for. But she questioned if he was indeed real, if such a guy truly existed. Maybe she is just being naïve again and heading for trouble. After so much drama, bad decisions and heart breaking revelations about not knowing what she really wants in life, she decides to go on a vacation in Europe. And her fiancé runs after her and follows her to London. There she finally realizes that what she wanted all along was already with her, that it already came, that he already came.
Like in the story of our reading today, the priest Zechariah has lost hope that he will ever be given his own child through her wife Elizabeth, and so when the Angel of the Lord appeared to him saying that he will have a Son who will one day be a prophet, he was in shock that his first reaction was with doubt instead of faith. He was in doubt even when it was already a messenger from Yahweh who appeared to him in the temple, the holiest of places. Yet even if he doubted, God continued to bless them, didn’t withhold it from them and allowed for the couple to be part His plans.
The Jewish people themselves was in much in disbelief that someone like Jesus who came from Nazareth, who befriended and welcomed lepers, tax collectors, Samaritans and prostituted women was the Messiah; The Messiah that they long waited for who in their minds will come with power and might to restore the glory of the Jewish race. Sure some believed but majority did not and eventually crucified him.
Who would ever thought that the Son of God will be born to a lowly woman in manger one seemingly ordinary night? And yet this humble and lowly event was the greatest Gift and blessing that the world came to receive, the manifestation of God’s love, coming into flesh and dwelling among us. In this 4th day of our reflection may we allow God’s grace and blessing to flow into our lives. May we trust that our prayers and longings are answered the best way that God sees fit; in God’s own time and in God’s own grace. And when it finally comes may we receive them in faith instead of doubt, and with much joy in our hearts, exclaiming: “Thanks be to God!”
Loving God, we know that you never fail us and that your goodness abounds always to those who trust in you. You bless us and guide us always. Teach our hearts to receive your blessing with joy and thanksgiving, whatever they are, whoever they are and however they come. Amen.
Written by: Joseph Tiu Edited by: Red Macalalad