Monday, 19 December 2016 : 4th Week of Advent (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, as we approach Christmas within the week, through the Scriptures which the Church had chosen for the occasion of the days preceding it, God wants to remind us of His love, His care and His protection for all of us who are faithful to Him. When we are faithful to Him, God will not forget or abandon us, but instead, He will give us the fullness of His grace, love and mercy.

The Scripture readings today spoke of the time of the birth of the great servants of God, Samson and John the Baptist, both of whom have been called and chosen by God from their mothers’ wombs, chosen to lead the people of God, Israel, in their time of great need for succour and salvation. And those were not the only time that He had shown His salvation to the people.

Ever since the days of Moses, God had brought about His salvation to His people who were suffering, and through others like Elijah, Isaiah, Jeremiah and many others, God showed His people who were living in the darkness and going through many sufferings, that there was indeed a way out for them through Him, and if they were to follow Him and His ways, they would receive grace and liberation from their troubles.

Samson came at a time when the people of Israel were oppressed and crushed under the tyranny of the Philistines, who although they were outnumbered by the people of Israel, but because they had been wicked and were unfaithful to the laws and commandments of God, God had not walked at their side when the Philistines came and attacked them.

But God did not forget about them and neither had He abandoned them. He sent them Samson the Judge, who would come from birth as a servant devoted to God, to free the Israelites from the Philistines. He led the people of God in overthrowing the yoke of the Philistines and defeated their oppressors with mighty deeds, that eventually Israel was freed.

The same happened at the time of John the Baptist, that when the people had lost the purpose of their living in the Law, being misled by the wickedness and by the worldly and wayward ways of their leaders and the Pharisees, God sent them John the Baptist in order to call these people from the darkness, calling them towards repentance and to receive the forgiveness from God.

Through all of these examples, God would give a preview to His people of that one and singular glorious moment, through which God had sent unto us His ultimate Saviour and Deliverer for us, Jesus Christ, His only Son, Who came into the world in order to save us all mankind from our greatest enemy, that is sin. He has come into the world in order to free us from the chains and bondage of sin that had prevented us from reaching out to God and to His salvation.

And that is the essence of Christmas, brothers and sisters in Christ, which as I have mentioned many times during this season of Advent, many of us tend to forget about. It is important that we use this time of Advent to prepare ourselves well for the celebration of Christmas. We must understand that we rejoice at Christmas and are happy not because of ourselves but really because of the Lord, His love and mercy for us.

Let us all strive to spread the true message and the true spirit of Christmas, so that we may rejoice with proper understanding, knowing that as He had sent His deliverance to His people in their times of need, by sending servants such as Samson and St. John the Baptist, we may also know that by the coming of Jesus His Son, which we celebrate at Christmas, each and every one of us have been given the greatest gift and boon of all in Him, that through Him all of us may have hope of a new and eternal life.

May God help us in our journey of life, especially in this season of Advent, that we may prepare ourselves well in our hearts, minds, bodies and souls, that we will be ready to welcome the Lord when He comes again, just as we remember His first coming at Christmas, so that all of us will always strive to be righteous and true to His commandments, obeying Him in all of our words, actions and deeds, that we will be worthy of Him, our Lord and God. May God bless us all. Amen.

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