Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Simbang Gabi - Day 4


The Gospel: Luke 1:5-25
1st Reading: Judges 13:2-7,24-25


Today is our 4th straight day at simbang gabi... wow! I am amazed at how God is touching my life these days... I am truly blessed that God continually gives me the perseverance to continue attending simbang gabi... It is indeed a challenge to wake up at 3:30 in the morning to prepare yourself for the 4am mass.. It's a challenge when all you want to do is to continue to sleep.. but with God's grace, I am able to get up and even pay attention the activities within the mass.. the singing, the responses and listen to the priest's homily and not allow my eyes to droop down and nap...

Anyways, the gospel was all about Zacharias and his disbelief with regards to what the angel Gabriel has told him, that he and Elizabeth (his barren and old wife) will have a child.  This disbelief attained him a 9 month penalty so to speak (or perhaps not :)) since he wasn't able to speak and his voice only returned after his son, John the Baptist was born and dedicated to the Lord. The gospel allowed me the complete realization that nothing is impossible with God, that even in her barren state and old age, she was blessed with a son. I am so lucky to have my children and how blessed I am when I carried them and gave them birth... I can sympathize with how Elizabeth felt when she realized she was pregnant... Oh what joy that must have been :)
On the other hand, I also realized that even in our weakness, God is faithful.  Zacharias, doubted what the angel had told him... He cannot believe that it was possible... But God didn't say, okay because you thought it impossible, it will not be done anymore, I will go and look for someone else who will believe me... No, God in His infinite faithfulness and love, gave Zacharias his pervent prayer and allowed them to have the child.  I, in my life, also had my time of doubts, whenever things seems to impossible, I question God's ability and even willingness to solve my dilemma, but I'm realizing now that all I have to do is keep the faith because God is always true to His word, that he wants to give me the desires of my heart and prosper me all the days of my life...I just need to learn to trust HIM.  I am still a bit far from the total trust, if I have to be honest, but I am learning... I am slowly learning to listen to HIM and slowly learning that indeed HE is faithful...  HE KNOWS WHAT'S BEST FOR ME... I MAY NOT HAVE EVERYTHING I WANT, BUT I HAVE WHAT I NEED AND GOD WILL PROVIDE ALL OF THOSE IN HIS OWN TIME... I have to believe that HIS timing is perfect, that I just have to wait and persevere and know that HE is the AUTHOR of my LIFE and that HE knows where He wants to LEAD me and I just need to follow.

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Today also marks my sister-in-law's 50th birthday.... She comes with us to attend simbang gabi... I think she's happy that we are making an effort to attend, that she is able to attend too.. she believes that mama (my mom-in-law) won't permit her to go, if she will just go by herself since the walk from our house to the nearby chapel/church is dark and there are a areas which are what we call "danger zones" coz it's dark and sometimes a few nefarious personalities lurk in the dark.  And she, for lack of a better terminology, is the religious type and she always wants to go to church and attend daily mass and going to the simbang gabi masses is indeed something she always will want to do, and, for myself, I don't go because I want to accompany her but because I made a commitment to myself and to God that I will attend simbang gabi, as a thanksgiving for all the blessings we have received and will continually receive through God's infinite grace... And honestly, I am starting to appreciate the joy that hearing mass and partaking in the eucharist brings someone who comes to the House of the Lord with a joyful heart....

For our dear Manang Beth, Happy 50th Birthday... I pray that God will continue to give you the courage to continue the work He has begun in you... I am thankful that God gave you a giving heart that cheerfully provides for your family and the community... Thank you for helping us everytime we need it... May God abundantly bless you that you may continue to be a blessing to others...