CHRISTMAS NOVENA MASS:
EIGHT DAY: RENEWED ENCOUNTER
The seventh chapter reflects on the value and promotion of peace. “Paths of renewed encounter” underlines that peace is connected to truth, justice and mercy. Truth means admitting what truly happened. It is acknowledging that something went wrong. It is our being courageous to accept our faults without blaming others or resorting to aggravating circumstances.
The gospel, entitled “magnificat” or in “English my soul makes the Lord great”, invites us to reflect on the life of Mary. When Mary received the good news that she will be the Mother of the Son of God, she was bold enough to tell the Lord about her reservations such as asking the angel “how can this be since I am a virgin? She admitted her weakness too while accepting the mission that God is ordering her when she said, I am the servant of the Lord, be it done to me according to your word. Peace is being a home with God because you are living in truth. What makes a person strange to one another is that when one is not honest about oneself. She is lovingly singing before the Lord because she is precisely at home with her creator.
The second is justice, for the sake of our reflection, we will discuss at least three types of justice, namely, distributive- who gets what, if you do good, goodness will be yours. The next is retributive which is based on punishment for wrong-doing and restorative which tries to restore relationships to "rightness." The gospel says something about what justice is. Distributive- Mary became honest so she reaped blessings and protection from the Lord that is why she proclaims my soul proclaims the goodness of the Lord. Retributive- he brought down the powerful from their thrones. Restorative- he lifted up the lowly and he will remain true to his promise for all generations.
The third is mercy or compassion. The Lord feels the pain of sin of both the offended and offender. He wanted to eradicate sinfulness by protecting the offended and giving a chance for the offender to reform their lives. He said, I do not wish the sinner the die but to live. God will always remember his compassion. He is the Emmanuel who is coming willing to be oppressed so that He can draw humanity out from sinful situation.
Peace is the perfect Christmas gift that we can give to ourselves, family, friends, parish community and the whole world. In achieving it, we have to set us free from our sinfulness by accepting the truth which can begin in the sacrament of reconciliation. Be willing to accept punishment or restitution. Sincerity means we are willing to accept the pain, fasting and other forms of deprivation such as prayer instead of leisure and give something to the poor. Compassion- sinfulness is not hopeless case and always give chance to others to reform. Glory to God in the highest and peace to his people on earth.