Thursday, 15 December 2016 : 3rd Week of Advent (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, in today’s readings we heard of the great joy that had been given by God to His faithful servants, two women who had been barren from having a child, one who have not been given a child despite the other wife of her husband having many children, and the other one who was barren until her old age.

But God heard their prayers and gave them His blessings, and both of the children born of them became great servants of God, one is the prophet and Judge of Israel, Samuel, who went on to lead and guide the people of Israel and anointed both king Saul and David of Israel, and the other one is John the Baptist, the herald of the Messiah and the one who came ahead of Him to prepare the way for His coming into the world.

And God did not just bless the two women with children, but also His entire people. Samuel came at a time when the people of God had become complacent in their faith, where even the leaders became corrupt and wicked in their ways. The sons of the then judge, Eli were corrupt and they led the people into sin and disobedience before God by their own actions.

In the same manner, at the time of the coming of John the Baptist and Jesus, our Lord and Saviour, the people of God, while outwardly seemed to be faithful and good, but they have also gone wayward in their faith, and their leaders, the elders, the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law had become corrupt and wicked in their ways, and as a result, they too have misled the people of God into sin.

God therefore sent His deliverance to His people, as He had done many times throughout history, and all of these were a buildup towards the eventual salvation and deliverance through the sending of His own Son, the Saviour of the world, our Lord Jesus Christ, Whose coming into the world we celebrate as Christmas. Through Him, a new hope has dawned on the human race, on all the people of God who now have hope in Him.

This is the essence of today’s Scripture readings, that is about a new hope that God gives to all those who despair and are in need for His help. God blesses all of His people and will not forget them. That is what we all ought to remember as we prepare for the coming of the season of Christmas during this Advent season. We should prepare ourselves in our hearts and minds, so that we may be able to celebrate Christmas with proper and good understanding of what is it that we are celebrating about.

Let us ask ourselves, brothers and sisters in Christ, how many of us make the Lord as the most important Person in our life? How many of us actually place Him at the centre of our livelihoods? Many of us celebrate Christmas year after year without proper understanding what it is that we are celebrating. We should be spending this season of Advent trying to reflect on our own lives and prepare ourselves mentally and spiritually to welcome the Lord Who comes to save us.

We should seek the Lord and His grace at all times, and rather than seeking for worldly comfort and other sources of satisfaction, let us look to the Lord. Nothing else, and no one else other than the Lord will be able to provide us with true and complete satisfaction found in Him alone. The things and goods of this world can fail us, but the Lord will not fail us, just as He had helped those who were in need and prayed to Him.

Let us all put the Lord back at the centre of our lives, and let us all put Him at the centre of our Christmas preparations and celebrations. Jesus is the Lord and Master of our lives, and therefore, let us all open ourselves to Him and welcome Him with an open heart, that He may come into us and transform us from a people living in despair and darkness, into children of the light. May God bless us all. Amen.

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