Thursday, January 03, 2008

3 January
Seeing Unto Song

Readings: 1 John 2:29–3:6; Psalm 98:1, 3cd-4, 5-6; John 1:29-34

Have you ever closely followed a drama series on television? It can be highly addictive. The viewing of one episode simply makes you want to watch the next… and the next… until you reach the grand finale. Isn’t this why some people decide to buy the whole series on VCD or DVD? So that they can watch the whole series at their own pace and leisure? Indeed, I know some who find these serials so compelling that they will even have their meals and do their housework in front of the TV.

This eagerness to see more probably captures something of the disposition that our readings present to us today. What happens to people who truly experience the mystery of Christ’s coming among us? What happens, for example, to people such as Mary and Joseph, the shepherds and the wise men? Having seen the episode where the baby appears in a manger, do they simply go back to their lives as if nothing has changed? On the contrary, once they have caught sight of the love the Father has bestowed on us that we may be called the children of God, they hunger for more. They are impelled to look out for further sightings of God’s love in their daily lives.

And seeing is not all that they do, for there’s another aspect to this happy addiction that parallels what happens to those who watch TV serials. If the serial is good enough, not only do you want to keep seeing it for yourself, but you are also driven to sing its praises to others, to share with others what you like about it. Isn’t this why people form appreciation clubs? They can’t keep the experience to themselves. We see something similar in the readings too. The psalmist exhorts us, for example, to sing to the Lord a new song because all the ends of the earth have seen the salvation by our God. And this too is the experience of John the Baptist in the gospel. Having seen Jesus, having baptized him and witnessed the Spirit come down like a dove from the sky and remain upon him, John exclaims: now I have seen and testified that he is the Son of God.

And where does this seeing and singing lead? How does this serial end? What will be its Grand Finale? In the words of the first reading: what we shall be has not yet been revealed… when it is revealed we shall see him as he is… This is what we can all look forward to: beholding the beauty of God as he is, and singing his praises for all eternity.

But that is in the future. For now everyone who has this hope… makes himself pure. Turning aside from every distraction, we need to keep striving to catch sight of Christ in the here and now, to see him in a way that moves us to sing of him in the sight of others.

How are we being invited to do this today?

1 comment:

  1. Wishing all Peaceful and Blessed days ahead.

    I join the rest in welcoming Fr. Chris back with his wonderful sharings. In just a few words you have shared so much with us.

    What a great way to start the year with these readings of hope. We are indeed very fortunate and blessed to be called children of God. And we have John the Baptist as witness that Jesus Christ is indeed the Son of God who will be our eternal Judge.

    The challenge for me will be living and behaving like a child of God. As Fr. has adviced and I will strive to do this starting today, is to always see the good in everyone, even those not too nice to me. And also to see the positive side of things even in moments of unpleasantness and in my failures. Dare I call this my resolution this year?????