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Detachment in the context of Christmas

November 30, Wednesday of the 1st Week of Advent
Daily readings:  Romans 10:9-18; Matthew: 4:18-22

It is not a surprise to see towering Christmas trees in the center of the malls or people gathering with parties, music, drinking, and eating around, or to notice kids sitting on Santa’s laps and saying what they want for Christmas. Christmas started out as a Christian holiday to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, but it has become more and more of a secular, commercial holiday. Christmas has become increasingly commercialized and secularized. This evolution is reflected when people prefer to say "Happy Holidays" instead of "Happy Christmas."

In this context, the lessons of detachment given by our Lord in today’s gospel are relevant. The Gospel shows it by telling about how the disciples acted when Jesus told them to stop fishing and start fishing for people instead.

First, when the disciples left their fishing nets and boats, it could be seen as a sign that they were giving up their possessions and jobs in this world in order to accept a new way of life based on the Kingdom of God. Jesus may not be calling us to abandon the world literally, but he does expect the practice of a certain detachment from things on this earth. In other words, we are called to be in this world but not of this world—a realization that human beings were not created for material things. When I let go of my possessions and other things, I will be able to connect with God. Jesus wanted his disciples to be spiritually powerful but materially powerless.

Secondly, the disciples leaving their fathers and hiring men does not mean that they literally abandoned their fathers. It can be a gesture of their commitment to a higher loyalty, i.e., their commitment and love for God. When a person becomes a true disciple, all forms of love and bonding must yield to a higher loyalty: my love for God.

Prudent and wise detachment from the things that make Christmas commercialized, like fast-paced music, eating for pleasure, and shopping for things, helps us experience the mystery of the incarnation in our inner lives. Amen.


Radio Veritas Asia (RVA), a media platform of the Catholic Church, aims to share Christ. RVA started in 1969 as a continental Catholic radio station to serve Asian countries in their respective local language, thus earning the tag “the Voice of Asian Christianity.”  Responding to the emerging context, RVA embraced media platforms to connect with the global Asian audience via its 21 language websites and various social media platforms.