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Self-Awareness

December 24, 2013

Reflection

 

Self-awareness is underlined in today’s readings. King David realizes that while he is living in a palace of cedar, the ark of God dwells in a tent.  He shares this with Nathan the prophet who replies, “Go, do whatever you have in mind, for the LORD is with you.” That same night, God speaks to Nathan saying, “Go, tell my servant David, ‘thus says the LORD: should you build me a house to dwell in?’”

 

Today, stand aside, examine yourself, and follow King David’s steps. Be humble, honest with yourself, recognize the gifts you have received and what you have done in return. If you have kept God in a tent, what does your conscious tell you to do? If nothing comes in mind, then King David gives us a hint: seek spiritual guidance. Self-awareness is essential because it allows you to see yourself as a being that exists, who freely and consciously takes action to serve the LORD. You are also part of a community and if everyone has this power of will, then we will become stronger because the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

 

Finally, the psalm says, “For ever I will sing the goodness of the Lord.” To do good is not a one-time thing, to do good is not only during Advent, it is always. This is an invitation to have integrity in our lives. Nowadays, society teaches that we can have peace of mind as long as we have a high self-esteem or that it is based on attitude. And thus, we tend to justify our dormant state, justify our good intentions without actions, and convince ourselves that we are doing great. Nevertheless, today’s readings say that we will have peace of mind only when we are in harmony with the teachings, the principles, values and commandments of Jesus Christ, our Lord, TO BE true disciples.

 

Thought Questions

 

1. Tonight, Jesus will be born in a manger, “‘thus says the LORD: should you build me a house to dwell in?’”

2. Think of a time that your conscious moved you to do good, but it didn’t happen, how did you feel? This Christmas, what does your inner voice tell you to do?

3. Think about the different roles in your life (father/mother, husband/wife, employee, manager, student, parishioner, etc.), what role gives you a bigger challenge to be loyal to Christ? Do you feel you have integrity in your life?

 

Prayer

 

Abba Father, we are for ever thankful for your act of love in giving us your only Son, who taught us the way, the truth, and the life, please give us strength to be faithful and loyal to your Son’s teachings in our daily lives, in our different roles, and help us obtain integrity in our lives.  We humbly ask you in the name of Jesus, who is born tonight in our hearts, Amen.

 

By Enrique Reyes

 

 

Readings

 

Reading 1 2 SM 7:1-5, 8B-12, 14A, 16

 

When King David was settled in his palace,
and the LORD had given him rest from his enemies on every side,
he said to Nathan the prophet,
“Here I am living in a house of cedar,
while the ark of God dwells in a tent!” 
Nathan answered the king,
“Go, do whatever you have in mind,
for the LORD is with you.” 
But that night the LORD spoke to Nathan and said:
“Go, tell my servant David, ‘Thus says the LORD:
Should you build me a house to dwell in?

“‘It was I who took you from the pasture
and from the care of the flock
to be commander of my people Israel. 
I have been with you wherever you went,
and I have destroyed all your enemies before you. 
And I will make you famous like the great ones of the earth. 
I will fix a place for my people Israel;
I will plant them so that they may dwell in their place
without further disturbance.
Neither shall the wicked continue to afflict them as they did of old,
since the time I first appointed judges over my people Israel.
I will give you rest from all your enemies. 
The LORD also reveals to you
that he will establish a house for you. 
And when your time comes and you rest with your ancestors,
I will raise up your heir after you, sprung from your loins,
and I will make his Kingdom firm.
I will be a father to him,
and he shall be a son to me.
Your house and your Kingdom shall endure forever before me;
your throne shall stand firm forever.’”

 

Responsorial Psalm PS 89:2-3, 4-5, 27 AND 29

 

R. (2) For ever I will sing the goodness of the Lord.


The favors of the LORD I will sing forever;
through all generations my mouth shall proclaim your faithfulness.
For you have said, “My kindness is established forever”;
in heaven you have confirmed your faithfulness.

“I have made a covenant with my chosen one,
I have sworn to David my servant:
Forever will I confirm your posterity
and establish your throne for all generations.”

“He shall say of me, ‘You are my father,
my God, the rock, my savior.’
Forever I will maintain my kindness toward him,
and my covenant with him stands firm.”

 

Gospel LK 1:67-79

 

Zechariah his father, filled with the Holy Spirit, prophesied, saying:

“Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel;
for he has come to his people and set them free.
He has raised up for us a mighty Savior,
born of the house of his servant David.
Through his prophets he promised of old
that he would save us from our enemies,
from the hands of all who hate us.
He promised to show mercy to our fathers
and to remember his holy covenant.
This was the oath he swore to our father Abraham:
to set us free from the hand of our enemies,
free to worship him without fear,
holy and righteous in his sight
all the days of our life.
You, my child, shall be called the prophet of the Most High,
for you will go before the Lord to prepare his way,
to give his people knowledge of salvation
by the forgiveness of their sins.
In the tender compassion of our God
the dawn from on high shall break upon us,
to shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death,
and to guide our feet into the way of peace.”

Tags: birth of christ, nativity, christmas, manger, disciples, roles in life, roles, take action, doing good, goodness, advent retreat, advent, integrity, conscious, self-awareness

Comments

Enrique Reyes  |  Los Angeles  |  December 24, 2013  |  1:37 PM

Today's reflection is an "awakening." To change our thoughts and language from "to have," ... to...  "to be." Meaning, there is a big difference to say, "I have to help," to, "I am helping." There is a big difference to say, "I have to go to mass," to, "I am going to mass." When you see an opportunity, don't say, "I HAVE to do something," say and think, "I AM doing something." True, there are a lot of "I's" but it is not about the "ego" it is about recognizing that each one of us is part of this world, each one of us responds freely to the blessings that God has given us. It is an awakening, it is self-awareness to act and to do the Lord's will. 


Fr. Bill  |  LA  |  December 24, 2013  |  11:09 AM

Thanks, Enrique, for reminding me that I tend to keep God in a tent, instead of inviting Him into the palace...that is...keep the poor on the porch waiting for a sandwich instead of inviting them inside to my table, and learning about them, and making friends. I suppose I worry about creating an "on-going expectation" of help...but...what else is the Church for? What a beautiful Christmas lesson. Thank you.


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