The silent ones

By: Fr. Jerry M. Orbos SVD - @inquirerdotnet - Inquirer.net | December 18,2022 - 09:10 AM

The story is told about a little boy who looked worried when he came home from school. When asked by his Dad why, he said: “We have a Christmas play tomorrow, and I am supposed to be Joseph, and I am not good at speaking.” His Dad said: “Don’t worry son. Joseph is the silent one. He has no speaking part.”

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Today, the fourth Sunday of Advent, we light the candle of LOVE. May the Lord give us the courage and the strength to spread God’s love wherever we are, and in whatever we do, especially for the poor, the rich, and the needy in our midst. Christmas is, after all, about love. “God so loved the world, He gave us His Only Begotten Son.” (John 3, 16)

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In today’s Gospel (Mt. 1: 18-24), we hear how Joseph accepted his difficult role to become the foster father of Jesus. He could not understand, but he listened, trusted, and obeyed. Indeed, there are many things we, too, do not understand in life, but like Joseph, we listen, trust, and obey, because of love.

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Let us not give up on love, or become cynical about love. In spite of the materialistic trends in the world, let us continue to focus and point to our unfailing center, our unifying and life-giving power called love. It is love that keeps us going in spite of trials, deprivations, failures, and pains.

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Emmanuel. “God is with us.” May we draw strength and courage to go on loving because of our firm conviction that God is with us always, and in all ways. Yes, our constant prayer is: “Lord, stay with us. Watch us. Stand by us!” Amen.

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Whenever we encounter difficult situations, let us follow the example of St. Joseph: listen, trust, obey (LTO).

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LISTEN. St. Joseph listened to what God was telling him, not to what people were talking about him. We have to tone down the noise of the world and listen to the sound of silence, the voice of God in the silence.

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TRUST. Trusting is letting go of the steering wheel and letting God do the driving. It is about humbling ourselves to someone we believe in. Let it be joyful trusting that is open to whatever delays, setbacks, and surprises! “Trust the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.” (Proverbs 3, 5)

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OBEY. In everything that happens, or does not happen, there is a reason, and there is a mission. When we obey, we are set free from our narrow, negative, and selfish mindsets, and we become a better (not bitter!) person.

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This Christmas, in keeping with difficult times, and in solidarity with the many poor and suffering, let us tone down the celebration, and heighten the reflection and participation aspects of Christmas. Let us listen to the plea of the “little ones” in our midst.

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Our Papa Guillermo would have been 101 years old today. He had an ear for the silent ones who came to him for help of any kind. I remember and treasure most his kindness and generosity, his humility, and his deep sense of God. He always told us that what matters most is not what we have in our hands, but who we have in our hearts. 

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Wishing you all a truly blessed and peaceful Christmas. May Christmas be beautiful for you and your family, and may you make Christmas beautiful and real to other people, too! One with you in prayer and gratitude!

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A moment with our Lord: Lord, help us to really listen to you and to the silent ones in our midst, especially at Christmas. Amen.

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TAGS: Cebu Daily News, cebu news, Christmas, Gospel, listen trust, Mt. 1:18-24, OBEY, silent ones, St. Joseph

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