Saturday, 24 December 2016 : 4th Week of Advent (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, finally, Christmas is almost upon us. After almost a whole month of preparation and waiting in Advent, tomorrow we shall finally come to the great joy and celebration of Christmas, the day when we all rejoice at the birth and the coming of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ into this world. We have spent much of this Advent season preparing and reflecting upon the mysteries of this Nativity of our Lord.

And because tomorrow is the very day that we are going to begin our celebrations of Christmas, it is important that we have to enter it with the right mind and the right prepared state, that we all know firstly what we are celebrating about, who is it that we are celebrating about, and then how we ought to celebrate it with the spirit of being Christians, as disciples and followers of our Lord.

It is indeed easy for us to be distracted by the many forms of persuasions and the temptations of worldliness in the celebrations of Christmas, all the more given the amount of materialism and commercialisation that had surrounded the secularised version of Christmas, to the point that Christ had been forgotten from the very celebration that bore His Name, and instead celebrated worldly forms of happiness and joy.

It is not wrong for us to celebrate Christmas in that manner, as after all it is a season of rejoicing and time to celebrate together with our family and friends, but what is important is that we must not forget the essential meaning and purpose of the celebrations of Christmas, and that is about the Lord Himself, the celebration of He Who has come into the world bearing the salvation of God, so that all may be saved through Him.

And that is the essence of today’s Scripture readings, that God’s love for us was so great and He is ever faithful to His words and promises such that He fulfilled at Christmas, the promises and the covenant He had established with us mankind, with His servant Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and the promise He had made with David the king, His faithful servant that He will bless their descendants forever.

Let us all spend some time to think and reflect upon God’s great love for us, which has been made manifest through Christ especially in this coming season of Christmas. And let us all take note that when the Lord Jesus came the first time, He did not come with pomp and grandeur, although the host of Angels did sing gloriously of His coming witnessed by the shepherds. He came instead very humbly in a mere stable even though He is a King.

This is a reminder to each and every one of us that our Christmas celebrations and joy cannot be exclusive but instead must be inclusive, that means we cannot forget about the many people who want to celebrate Christmas but are unable to do so because of various circumstances. We ought to share our joy with them, and whatever excesses we have, let us all be generous and share them with our brethren in need, so that our joy may be theirs too, and the Lord Who sees what we have done, will reward us for our charity and generosity.

Let us all also spend the time today to pray for our brethren who are persecuted for their faith, and give thanks to God for the graces He has blessed us with, that we may be able to celebrate Christmas with peace and joy. Let us remember our brethren who cannot even celebrate Christmas openly and joyfully or else they would be persecuted and made to suffer. Let us not forget about them as we enter into Christmas.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, let us all prepare ourselves well and help one another that we may celebrate Christmas with each other and share the joy that we experience, knowing that because of the Lord Jesus and His entry into this world, all of us have received that new hope for eternal life and salvation through Him. May the Lord bless us all and keep us in His grace always. Amen.

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