Sunday, 3 January 2021 : Second Sunday after Christmas (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, this Sunday, the second Sunday in the season of Christmas, we are reminded yet again of the reason why we celebrate this Christmas. We do not rejoice and celebrate because we seek pleasures and joys of this world, or satisfaction for our needs and desires. We rejoice because of the love that God has shown us so wonderfully and generously through His Son, Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

So great was His love that since the very beginning, He has given us His compassion and love, showering us with mercy and patience throughout the journey. Despite our rebelliousness and sins, He has always continued to love us, even to the greatest of sinners. When Adam and Eve sinned against God, He could easily have annihilated them or condemned them to eternal suffering, but He did not do so.

While He forced them to wander the earth and suffer the consequences of their sins, but at that very same moment He also reassured them that salvation would eventually come for all of them, when He spoke of the Woman through whom the Lord would bring His salvation, crushing the devil, his power and dominion over the world and all the evil and wicked plots he had created against us.

When Cain murdered Abel out of jealousy, the Lord still showed Him mercy and helped him to get away from his predicament, and He rescued Noah and his family on the great Ark when all of the whole world had completely turned against God and dwelled in their wickedness and evil. Then, throughout many years, decades and centuries, again and again He helped His people, making Covenant with His servant Abraham and his descendants.

Throughout the history of mankind, God has always remained faithful to the Covenant He had made with us since the beginning. He has always guided and attempted to lead us to Himself. He has never abandoned us no matter what. Sadly, it was us and our predecessors that had abandoned the Lord and betrayed Him for the temptations and allures of the world. We sought quick satisfaction and comfort, which is why we turned to everything in the world and not to God.

Nonetheless, God remained faithful, and He rescued His people from their troubles, from their slavery in Egypt, guiding them through the Red Sea and destroying their enemies, establishing them in the lands of Promise, and made them prosper. Again and again, when the people disobeyed Him and were stubborn in rebelling against Him, He showed patience and tried to bring them back to His truth and love.

Throughout more and more centuries God continued to take care of His people, and He sent His deliverance to us, fulfilling all the promises He had made from the very beginning. The Lord Himself became Man, assuming our human nature and the existence of our flesh, became fully Man just as He is also fully Divine. In the person of Jesus Christ, exists inseparably two distinct natures, Divine and Man.

This is what the Lord has shown all of us, His enduring love for every single one of us, without exception. The Son of Man and Son of God born in Bethlehem to Mary is the perfect manifestation of this Love. We are celebrating this Christmas because of this, the generosity and wonders of God’s love that never ends, His faithful love and commitment to the Covenant which He had made with all of us.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, as St. Paul said in his Epistle to the Ephesians as our second reading today, the Lord has revealed His truth to us through Christ, Our Saviour and Lord. He has brought freedom to us through His Son, and most importantly through His most loving and selfless sacrifice on the Cross, by which He established a new and everlasting Covenant with all of us. By His own Blood, He has paid the price of sin and liberated us from eternal death.

Now, what is important is that, each and every one of us as Christians are His followers and believers, that is we believe in all that He has revealed to us, and we believe that He is our Lord and Saviour, our most loving Father and Creator. And now that we have received this truth from Him, our calling and purpose in life is to bear witness to this truth, and to the same hope and love that He has shown us through Christ.

How are we making our Christmas celebrations meaningful and worthwhile, brothers and sisters in Christ? It is not by spending a lot of money and lavish celebrations that we truly rejoice and celebrate this Christmas. Rather, it is by devoting our effort, time and attention to show the love of God in this world, by reaching out with love to all our brethren in need, especially those who are in need of love and compassion.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, let us all make our Christmas celebrations truly meaningful and worthwhile, devoting ourselves to follow the Lord’s calling and do our very best to touch the lives of others, being generous in giving and in loving one another. May the Lord be our Guide, our Strength and our Hope. May He bless each and every one of us and strengthen us with the courage to live virtuously and filled with His love from now on. Amen.

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