Archbishop John Wong giving his short reflection on the meaning of Christmas

By Agnes Chai

Dec 23 2021

KARAMUNSING – The angel Gabriel greeted Mary “Rejoice, highly favoured one, the Lord is with you...” at the Annunciation, the announcement to the Virgin Mary that she would conceive a son by the power of the Holy Spirit to be called Jesus.

Archbishop John Wong specially drew the attention of the Archdiocesan staff to this one detail of the Annunciation as he shared his thoughts with them at the CAC staff Christmas gathering Dec 21.

Mary must have done something to win God’s favour, as highlighted by the angel. What has she done?

Just three days to the celebration of Christmas, it was the opportune moment to get the staff to sit at the feet of Jesus to recollect themselves after all the busy-ness of the physical Christmas preparation.

Taking the words of Scriptures, he suggested three points of reference to prepare for the celebration of the birthday of Jesus.

First question to ponder: Who is coming? If you know the one who is coming is very important, you would prepare well. Thus, the way you prepare is reflective on who you know is coming.

Second, why is he coming? We should spend time to reflect every Advent in order to have a good celebration of Christmas.

Third, how do you respond? Mary’s response in the Magnificat to the angel Gabriel’s announcement speaks of her confidence in God and her trust of God who “knows” her.

Mary became “the favoured one” of God, chosen to be the mother of His only Son not only because of His mercy and grace, but also because of her obedience and humility to do God’s will above hers.

Similarly, God also favours and chooses us to do His will for our life. It was not easy for Mary, neither is it for us.

This Christmas, knowing who is to come and why he is coming to us, we should imitate Mary’s response to do God’s will – in obedience and humility, and thus, experience His coming to us and favouring us.