DECEMBER 18

REFLECT! DONT REACT!!: A HOMILY ON THE 18TH OF DECEMBER

In our first reading of today, we read about a righteous branch, who will be called ‘The Lord is our righteousness. In the gospel, Joseph is described as a just man, who did not want to put Mary to shame. Joseph is a very important figure as we prepare for Christmas. One lesson we can learn from Joseph is to reflect rather than react to situations. If we read the bible, we will discover that Joseph never said a single word which is directly reported in the bible. We are told of what he did, but nothing about what he said. Even when Jesus was found in the temple, it was Mary who spoke to Jesus. Joseph’s action teaches us to reflect on situations, rather than react to them.

Christmas is usually a mad-house and everybody seem to go crazy, buying things, sending messages, eating and drinking, traveling, etc. The city streets are full, the malls are full, it is a big hoooo-haaaa. When everybody seem to be losing their heads, someone has to calm down. We like to sing about silent night on a night when we experience everything but silence. A person who cannot observe at least 30 minutes of absolute silence in a day, has a big problem.

During the mass, there are moments reserved for silence, like when we pause to call to mind our sins, when the priest invites us to pray, after each reading, after the homily, after communion, and at funerals, when the priest incense and sprinkles the coffin with holy water. But because of our fear of silence, even one minute of silence make people so uncomfortable, they will start coughing and moving their legs. Sometimes when there is silence, someone begins a song, just to get rid of the silence. During the silence at funerals, people will start praying the Our Father and Hail Mary, which are good, but done at the wrong time. Even in company of people, whenever there is silence, we feel we have to break the silence, and that is when we usually say what we should not say.

‘Silent Night’ is about the most popular christmas song, but has it really helped us to appreciate silence. Our constant desire for noise and distractions, and excitement has made us reactionary people, rather than reflective people. Many families have broken up because someone reacted when he/she should have reflected. Joseph noticed that his virgin wife is pregnant. What would a man of today have done? We are not even patient to listen to the other person. If only people can reflect more, and slow down more, and be more gentle, many sins will be avoided, many homes would still be together, many lives would not be so messed up. What has made it worse is the invention of cell phones and TVs. Let us not just sing ‘Silent Night’. In the midst of all the woelige strate, let somebody stop and just reflect.

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