Thursday, 24 December 2020 : 4th Week of Advent (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day on the last day before Christmas, the last of the season of Advent, we are yet reminded again of the Lord’s promise that He will be with us and provide for us just as He has promised and reassured His servants in the past, like how He had reassured David, the king of Israel as we heard in our first reading, and how through Zechariah, filled with joy at the birth of his son St. John the Baptist in old age, proclaimed the Lord’s glory and providence.

In our first reading today, we heard the Lord speaking through His prophet Nathan to king David, when the king had already been secure in his reign and the Lord had delivered to him the rule over all the Israelites and over their neighbours, after many wars and conflicts that happened earlier. King David wanted to build a proper House and Temple for the Lord’s presence and worship, as at that time, the Lord was still dwelling in the Ark in the Holy Tent of Meeting. He did not feel quite right that he dwelled in a great palace while the Lord dwelled in a mere tent.

But the Lord had a different idea and He told David that it would be his son, the king Solomon who would build the House and Temple of His presence, and thus was how the famous Temple of Solomon was built all those years ago. The Lord promised and reassured David at that occasion that his reign and throne will be forever secure, and all of these have indeed been fulfilled completely through Jesus Christ, the Son of God, Heir of David and Saviour of the world, King of Israel and King of Kings born and celebrated on this Christmas day.

That is why, today, together with Zechariah’s joyful proclamation, as he was filled with the Holy Spirit, of the joy of seeing the Lord’s glory and salvation, we are called to reflect again on the joy of Christmas that we are going to celebrate beginning tonight and throughout the Christmas season. We have been preparing for this throughout this season of Advent, and we should ask ourselves whether we have prepared ourselves properly and well?

Brothers and sisters in Christ, this Christmas comes amidst a most unusual year and a most unfortunate moment for many of us. This year had been a very challenging one, as many people had suffered and even lost their loved ones to the pandemic, to the racial, social and national instabilities and troubles we have heard and witnessed throughout this year. Many are still suffering and indeed, not in a position to celebrate in any way this Christmas.

This is when our understanding and appreciation of what Christmas is truly about ought to be challenged and changed. Christmas should no longer be about ourselves, about our glamorous and lavish parties and revelries, of large gatherings and gift exchanges, and neither should Christmas be about those gifts and many other things usually associated with Christmas.

Instead of all these, let us all remind ourselves and one another that even in this darkness, all of us should and ought to celebrate Christmas indeed, with all of our hearts and with all of our might. Why is that so? That is because Christmas is the celebration of Hope, the coming of the Light of Christ that will dispel the darkness and the evils in the world, as what we know had happened through His coming into this world two millennia ago.

And then, even more significantly, the Lord promised us too that He will come again, and in Christmas we therefore do not just celebrate the past and historical coming of the Lord, but also the future coming of the Lord in the end of time, when the Lord will gather all of His beloved and faithful ones to Himself, and wipe away all of our tears and sorrows. There shall be no more suffering, pain and darkness, and only the light, hope, peace, joy and the love of God in the end.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, we look forward to this blissful time, and we should embody this attitude in our actions and in how we celebrate Christmas. This year, a most difficult year, is coming to an end, and so, let us now renew the hope in one another, by showing the Light of Christmas, the Light of Our Lord and Saviour in the midst of all these darkness, by celebrating Christmas with Christ at its very centre.

May the Lord bless our Christmas celebrations, and may He bless us always, in our every faithful and good endeavours. Let our Christmas be truly joyful and be truly blessed, and may God bless this darkened and sickened world, and may His light dispel all the darkness of our lives. Amen.

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