Thursday, 22 December 2016 : 4th Week of Advent (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day, as we are approaching Christmas in just a few days, we are reminded again of the greatness of God which He had shown in many occasions, and also through what we heard today in our Scripture passages, from the prophet Samuel, who was born as a great grace of God to his parents, especially to his mother Hannah, who had been barren for many years without any child.

And in the Gospel today we heard about Mary, the mother of our Lord and God Jesus Christ, the one whom God had chosen to be the one bearing the Saviour of the world, the Messiah. She was just a humble young maiden from an insignificant and small village of Galilee called Nazareth, but it was out of this seemingly very unimportant and unimposing location that God had fulfilled His promise to us all mankind, and brought forth His might into the world.

And that is the essence of Christmas, so simple and clear, and yet at the same time, it is awe-inspiring and great. Christmas is about the Lord and about His love for us all. It is simply that, nothing more and nothing less, and yet for many of us we are making it a lot more complicated and we often ignored the real intention and purpose of why we even celebrate Christmas in the first place.

We are often so busy and preoccupied with our preparations for the celebrations, worrying about what to wear and what to decorate for our homes, and what to cook for the Christmas meals and whatever else there is to be worried about, to the point that we have overlooked the true meaning and purpose of Christmas itself, that is about Christ our Lord! How can we all forget Him on His own birthday? And yet that is exactly what many of us had done.

We party with each other, enjoying ourselves as much as we can, and we enjoy the time with our relatives and friends, exchanging gifts with one another, and even comparing the gifts we receive, but we forget about the One with Whom we should rejoice together, because without Him there can be no rejoicing, hope and happiness in this time of Christmas.

God has loved us so much that He has sent us and given us His Son to be our Deliverer and to bring us from the brink of destruction. We should have perished because of our sins and because of the wickedness we have committed, but the Lord is willing to grant us another chance through the gift of His Son. And that gift is the ultimate and best gift of all surpassing any other things we can receive through this world.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, when we are too busy discussing and preparing for the gifts to be given and also what we will receive, we forget about the greatest gift of all in this Christmas season, that is the Lord Himself. Without Him all the other gifts are meaningless, and there is no point to our Christmas rejoicing without our acknowledgement and understanding that because of Him, we may have peace, joy and true satisfaction.

Let us reflect on this, brethren, and think about what we can do to make our Christmas joy and celebrations more appropriate and meaningful. We should refocus ourselves, our lives and our joy on Christ, for it is thanks to Him and His love for us, that He has willingly come down on us into this world, so that we may all be saved. May the Lord bless us always, and may He bring us ever closer to Him, that we may find salvation and succour in Him. Amen.

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