为了迎接圣诞，我思考着客栈店主在将临故事中扮演的角色。以下几个反思点浮现于我的脑海中：在日常生活中，我曾拒绝了哪些人？在工作环境里，或校园内，我又有意或无意地忽视了谁？圣本笃会规第53章写道：“该如接待基督似的接待众来宾，因为他将来要说： ‘我作客，你们收留了我。’” 天主正叫唤我们接纳哪些人？对于这些“作客”之人，我们是否反而选择了回避与拒绝？我是否没有认出爱的面孔，忽略了在生活中创造空间的使命？毕竟，我们需先认出耶稣、玛利亚与若瑟，方能将其迎入我们的生活。
© 2018 Christ Centered Conversations/Gregory Adrian Gunawan
© 2018 Christ Centered Conversations/Clarence Lee
Greg ponders on what John the Baptist means when he asks us to “make straight the path” and talks about how he sometimes confuses the path for the end goal instead of simply that: a path.
A voice cries out:
“In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord;
make straight in the desert a highway for our God.”
In our Advent Gospels, we always hear of John the Baptist and his mission to prepare for the coming of Jesus. And part of this call is an echo of what Isaiah has foretold and what John the Baptist reaffirms in John 1:23:
“I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness,
‘Make straight the way of the Lord”
Continue reading “Make Straight the Path”
In the following article, Chris compares the differing responses of Zechariah and Mary towards Angel Gabriel’s proclamation of Good News.
As a child, I often wondered why Zechariah, father of John the Baptist and husband to Elizabeth – Mary’s cousin – was “unable to speak” and became “mute” after his encounter with Angel Gabriel (Luke 1:20). Correspondingly, I found it even more interesting to compare the aftermath of his response to Angel Gabriel with that of Mary. Therefore, in this Advent season, I found it timely and poignant to properly articulate my thoughts juxtapose these two pivotal characters of the Advent Narrative. Why did Mary’s brother-in-law, receive such a harsh treatment from Angel Gabriel and what made his response any different from Mary’s? What lessons can we then learn from both their responses?
Continue reading “Silenced by Truth: Zechariah’s response to Angel Gabriel”
Garrett begins an analysis of Chesterton’s poem, “A Christmas Song for Three Guilds”.
What does Advent mean to us, on a personal level? How does this brief season, where we prepare for the coming of Jesus, relate to how we live our lives for the rest of the year? Before the dawn of Advent proper, we celebrate the Feast of Christ the King, where we recognize the sovereignty of Jesus in our lives, in preparation for his coming as the newborn king. But many find this idea of Jesus as ‘King’ problematic – in a democratic era, kingship can easily be seen as something oppressive and tyrannical. Therefore in this Advent season, I’d like to turn to G.K. Chesterton’s poem A Christmas Song for Three Guilds, which I believe suggests a much more egalitarian idea of the Kingdom of God than we are likely to picture.
Continue reading “A Christmas Song for Three Guilds: An Analysis (Part 1)”
Chris shares a bit more about the inn-keeper in the Advent narrative and wonders whether all of us are sometimes inn-keepers towards the Holy Family as well.
“While they were there, the time came for her to deliver her child. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.” – Luke 2:6-7
I often wonder how Joseph must have felt when he received the news that there was “no place” for him and his pregnant wife from the innkeeper. Having travelled so many hours, in probably harsh and treacherous conditions, Joseph must have experienced immense disappointment, frustration and anger. Joseph possibily even panicked. Did he have a backup plan? He and his wife could not possibily stay on the streets right? And how about pregnant Mary? Surely traveling in her physical state must have been awfully tiring and painful. I wonder whether she cried out in helplessness upon hearing that there was “no place” for her and her husband. I wonder whether Joseph and Mary felt hopelessness and despair. Is it not interesting, then, to briefly ponder about how the Advent story – the often overly-cherry, merry-making and consumerist-laden narrative – began as a tale of rejection? On hindsight, would the innkeeper have created space and made room for Jesus, Mary and Joseph, should he have realised that he was actually rejecting the Holy Family?
Continue reading “Placing the Inn Keeper in the Advent Narrative”