9th Day of Simbang Gabi  

            According to St. Thomas Aquinas, hope involves the confident expectation of a “bonum futurum arduum possible.” Translation: A good future, difficult to attain, but possible.

            Zechariah’s canticle, which we have just heard in the gospel, is a song of hope. He sings of a new future of light for those in the shadow of death. He anticipates a people walking in the way of peace. The promise made by the Lord was finally fulfilled with the birth of Jesus. God would set his people free by no less than his own Son. God would set his people free by no less than his own Son.

            Well, we have to emphasize that it was the beginning of the fulfillment. Everything was there to make it real and effective, except the people who would have to put it into practice. For God created us free. And that means, he relies on us… he relies on our acceptance and cooperation… he relies on our love. We have to let God make his peace and justice and love come true among us, with and through Jesus. That is why Jesus came among us as one of us.

            Taun-taon na lang natin kinakanta ang “Halina, Hesus, Halina!” We ask the Lord Jesus to come and transform our life, transform our situation, transform our nation. Our longing for peace among people, justice in our society, and wellbeing for everyone is the same longing we have been expressing for the past several Advents. But our situation has remained practically the same after all these years – after all these Advents.

            The Lord has not forgotten his promise. The Lord does not forget his promise. For, indeed, he has come… he has truly come! Only, we keep wanting him to do what he did not intend to do and does not intend to do. (Catalino Arevalo) He does not intend to do it all by himself.

            The Lord Jesus wants to do it only with us… because he is God-Emmanuel. He wants to be with us no matter what, no matter where. The Lord is telling us: “I am Emmanuel… Here I am, human like you… Look at me and see how it is to be done… Do it with me… I am with you and stay with you to give you strength… Come, let us begin… NOW.” May our “waiting in joyful hope” for the Lord lead us to committing ourselves to God and to making a difference in our world. Let each of us be a living sign of hope… hope for the coming of the kingdom of God.

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