Wednesday, 5 December 2018 : 1st Week of Advent (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we listened to the Scripture passages which remind us of the love of God and all the graces which He is willing and wanting to bless us with, each and every moments of our life and existence. He loves each and every one of us, and what we heard from the two readings and the Psalm today, are just as much proof as we need to see how God loves all of us, His beloved people.

In the first reading today, taken from the Book of the prophet Isaiah, God spoke through Isaiah about the coming of the time of happiness and grace, a foreshadowing of the world that is to come. In that world of joy, in the presence of God, all sorrows and pain will no longer be present, and everyone will live with fullness of joy and happiness in God’s presence. That is in fact what the Lord has always intended for us to be, to live with Him forever.

But it was because of our disobedience, that we have been sundered from this intended life which God has planned for us all. God loves us and He created us because of that love, and thus, in no circumstances that He had wanted us to suffer, but it was by our own free will and the abuse of that free will through disobedience, that we have sinned and thus fell into the suffering and pains of this world.

Yet, it was exactly for that love, that God has given us many ways and opportunities for us to be reunited with Him, by opening pathways for us and calling us to return to Him, so that we may be completely reconciled with Him and be worthy to stand and live once again in His presence. But such a state can only be achieved with a genuine conversion of heart and with a strong desire to love God above anything else.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, this is what the essence of Advent is all about, of a penitential, repentant and expecting nature, when we mankind are looking forward to a reunion with our God, our loving Father, Shepherd and Master, Who loves us so much that despite our constant transgressions and sins, He is still willing to forgive us, should we come to Him asking Him for forgiveness with fullness of sincerity of heart.

But all these require us to have that desire for repentance and to be forgiven from our sins, and also commitment from us to live our lives from now on, in accordance to God’s ways and in obedience to His will. God is our loving Shepherd and Father, Who knows us well and wishes for us to follow Him, Who is always thinking for our good and for our well-being. That is why He is calling on us to follow Him and to walk with Him once more.

In what we heard from the Gospel passage today, we witnessed all the wonderful things the Lord had done in the midst of His people, how He healed them from their sicknesses and how He fed multitudes of people, caring for their physical needs, and even more importantly, their numerous spiritual needs. He blessed them and forgave them their sins, and many sought to be forgiven and healed by Him.

Now, brothers and sisters in Christ, are we able to do what we need to do in order to be forgiven our sins? Are we able to make that step forward in our life and dedicate ourselves anew to the Lord with faith? We are called in this season of Advent, and indeed, the Church has given us this great opportunity of Advent, to reevaluate our lives and to change our way of life. Are we then open to the Lord coming into our lives and transform it into what He wants us to be? To be good and faithful children of His?

Today, we are called to look up to the hope which we have in God, and in the providence and love that He has shown us. Let us therefore turn towards Him this Advent, with a new spirit and desire to serve God with a new heart and with great courage, to glorify Him with our every actions and deeds in life. May God bless us all, now and always. Amen.

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