Tuesday, 20 December 2016 : 4th Week of Advent (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today we are reminded by the readings of the Scriptures yet again of the love of God, which He has shown to us through Christ His Son, Whom He had sent into the world as a sign for all of us that He loves us and wants us to be saved through Him. And because of that love, what once seemed to be impossible for us has become possible, as for the Lord nothing is impossible, and He made all possible for us who believe in Him.

Even a virgin who has not had any relations with man can bear a Child, that is Mary, bearing her Son Jesus, Son of God and Son of Man. And an old woman who was barren had born a son in her old age, as Elizabeth bore St. John the Baptist into the world, for nothing is indeed impossible for God. After all, He created all of us and all things in creation. Nothing is beyond His ability to make it done and accomplished according to His will.

But many of us acted in the manner of king Ahaz of Judah, who doubted the Lord and did not walk in His ways. Instead, he immersed himself and led his people to the wrong ways, worshipping the pagan gods and idols instead of God Who have blessed the people of Israel and their kings for many years. He refused to ask God for a sign when the prophet Isaiah asked it from him, not because he was humble or refused to test God, but rather because in his heart, he has no faith in God and no love for Him and His ways.

He might be great and powerful, and as a king he could do whatever he wished and wanted to do. But as the saying goes, with power comes great responsibility and also with power, also comes about corruption. He put so much trust and belief in his own power and greatness, that he had given in to his pride and greed, and thus, being stubborn in his ways, refusing to believe in God, and therefore bringing him and his people into the path towards destruction.

Contrast this with Mary, the virgin whom God had chosen to be the mother and bearer of His Saviour, Jesus Christ. Although she was entrusted with the glory that is beyond any other worldly glory, and given the grace and prestige beyond that of any worldly kings and rulers, she remained humble and true to her faith in God. She remained obedient and committed to God, and most importantly she fully surrendered herself to God’s will.

Let us all ask ourselves, brothers and sisters in Christ. How many of us can count on surrendering our whole being to God? How many of us can do what Mary had done? Despite all the uncertainties she had, she fully trusted the Lord in all that He had planned for her and for the whole human race, and through her obedience all of us are saved because through her, the Salvation of this world has come into the world. Had Mary not been faithful and obedient, we would not have received the Saviour.

Remember, brethren, that mankind sinned because of the disobedience of our forefathers, from the days of Adam and Eve who disobeyed the Lord and chose to listen to their own desires twisted by the sweet lies of Satan. And therefore onwards, many more people would choose to follow the path of power, of greed and all that they have given in in the pursuit of worldly glories, wealth and power, fame and all that we mankind often crave.

Now it is really the time for us to think and to reflect. As Christians, have we lived a good Christian life as the Lord had taught us? Have we devoted ourselves, our time and our efforts to the Lord and to what He had asked us to do? Or have we instead been so focused on ourselves, so selfish as many of our predecessors had been, that we had failed to be what the Lord expected us to be?

Let us choose, brothers and sisters. Do we want to be like king Ahaz or like Mary? One path leads to destruction although it seems better and easier, while the other path leads to true joy and eternal glory even though it may seem to be more difficult. This Advent is a time for preparation for Christmas, and let us all spend good amount of time to discern carefully what we are to do from now on.

Let Mary be our example, and let her examples guide us in our faith. May the Lord help us in our endeavours, and may our faith in Him continue to grow ever stronger, that we may draw ever closer to Him and follow Him and obey Him in all of our ways. God bless us all. Amen.

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