Silence of the Holidays

THIS PAST SEMESTER…

I started the final year of my undergraduate degree this past semester and it has been very busy for me. I feel like I’ve been constantly doing things: typing essays, washing dishes, reading scholarly articles, chatting about life with my housemates, etc. It feels like I haven’t had that much time to rest and recoup.


During the past semester, I found it hard to commit to daily prayer, to pray the rosary, to read my Bible, to do Lectio Divina. I found it hard to commit to my relationship with Jesus, with God my Father, and with the fire of the Holy Spirit. For a while, I felt so guilty because I knew all those things are the right thing to do especially when I’m stressed and freaking out about deadlines, essays, and my dissertation.


WAITING FOR THE HOLIDAYS

I’ve been anxiously waiting for the Christmas holiday because I knew that it would be a good two weeks where I’m at home, warm and cosy, watching films, probably with a mug of hot chocolate... multiple times a day. That it’s a holiday with lots of rest, laughter and being full of homemade food.


Christmas is always a day where I rest the most. After a usually joyous Mass in a jampacked church, then a big and hearty meal, I spend the rest of the day napping. This year is a little different as we may not be able to or be physically present at Mass… but the big and hearty meal is still going to be there.


REALISATION OF MY RELATIONSHIP

At the end of today’s Gospel (December 25, 2020; John 1:1-18), we hear that Jesus has made the Father known. Whilst I rest today, I will think about my relationship with God the Father. Yes, I will think about how I can actively pursue him in the next academic semester but I also need to just talk with him about my life, about what I’ve been feeling, what I’ve been going through. Because this part of my relationship with him has been lacking and it’s only taken me in the silence of the holidays to realise that I haven’t even been talking to him.


And whilst I reflect on the words of John the evangelist, I ask myself why haven’t I been talking to him that much and the thing that’s coming up in my heart is that I don’t know God the Father because I haven’t been trying to get to know him through his Son, Jesus; and such a simple way to get to know Jesus is to read the Gospels - I mean it’s all about his life after all! His birth and his death and his glorious resurrection.


Praise God that I have allowed the holy spirit to reveal that truth to me. And I hope, brothers and sisters in Christ, that you’re able to let the holy spirit reveal the truth to you today too. God bless and have a Merry Christmas.


~Gian Hernandez (Third year student, Medical Science, Oxford Brookes University)

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