Tuesday, 5 December 2017 : 1st Week of Advent (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day, we heard from the Scriptures first of all, from the prophet Isaiah who prophesied about the coming of the Messiah which was promised by God to His people through His messengers. The prophet Isaiah mentioned how the Messiah would come from the house of David, as a fulfilment of all the promises that God had made with His people, and with David, His faithful servant.

He also mentioned how the Messiah would be filled with the Spirit of God and with His wisdom, and He would reveal to all the people, the will and desires of God, and He would bring about a great era of joy and peace. He would reveal the light of God to a world darkened by sin and disobedience, and bring about a renewal of all God’s people. And as Christians, all of us believe that all of these have been perfectly fulfilled with the coming of God’s promised Messiah, Jesus Christ Our Lord.

And in this Messiah we do not just have a mere Man, but instead as He Himself had revealed, God Who has been incarnated in the flesh of Man, and both God and Man equally, He is the One through Whom the salvation of this world, and all of us His people have been brought to the hope of reconciliation and renewal. And in the Gospel today, we heard the joy of the Lord, Who proclaimed to all His disciples, the truth about Himself, and how He had brought salvation and joy to all of them.

In this time of Advent, as we continue to prepare ourselves for the celebration of Christmas, we should reflect on what we have just heard and discussed. Let us ask ourselves, what is the meaning of Christmas to us? Is Christmas merely just another holiday and merrymaking period? Is Christmas merely just a time for us to rest from our work and to dress nicely, and to party and be merry with our friends?

Is Christmas a time for us to show off to our friends and relatives, by competing and showing who is able to decorate our houses the best, or who is able to give the most expensive gifts and make the best parties? No, our answers for all of these should be a resounding no. We may indeed be joyful, be merry and be happy as indeed we should. But at the same time, we must not let all these worldly celebrations to distract us from our true focus, that is Our Lord Jesus Christ.

For the essence of Christmas must be understood by all of us. Let us first of all remember that each and every one of us are sinners, who have been absolved and forgiven by God, because of His wonderful love and mercy, through none other than the provision of His Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, by His sacrifice and death on the cross, and by His glorious resurrection from the dead.

If we can understand all of these, then we will surely rethink how we should be celebrating Christmas, with Christ Himself at the centre and as the focus of all or our joys and our merrymaking. That is how we should celebrate Christmas, and in this season of Advent, we should then prepare ourselves so that we may worthily celebrate it, with the right intention, with the right meaning, so that the Lord’s grace may truly work its wonders among us.

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, let us from today onwards, recommit ourselves to the Lord and seek to renew our efforts to live faithfully, by doing what He has commanded us to do, and by trusting in Him, Our Lord and Saviour, that the way He has shown us, is the way for us to go through, for our salvation and redemption into eternal happiness with Him. May the Lord be with us always and may He always grant us His blessings and graces. Amen.

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