Saturday, 18 December 2021 : 3rd Week of Advent (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today as we listened to the words of the Scripture, we are reminded as we get ever closer to Christmas, of how the Lord has fulfilled His promises to us and gave us the perfect love that He manifested in the flesh, in our midst, in the person of Jesus Christ, the Son of God Most High and the Son of Man, born of Mary, His mother and part of the family of St. Joseph, His foster-father and becoming the Heir and Son of David, King of Israel.

As we heard from our first reading today from the Book of the prophet Jeremiah, God promised His people that He would come to bring them liberation and salvation from their many troubles. And as God has revealed to them all throughout the past history, through many prophets and messengers, He would send His deliverer, the Saviour to come as the Heir of David, sending His only begotten Son to be the One to lead all of His beloved ones out of the darkness and into the Light of His salvation and truth.

God did not give up on us all, His beloved ones and He did everything He could to gather us all in, scattered throughout this darkened world full of sin and evil. He has always reached out to us, calling on us all to return to Him and to find our way to His presence. He wants to forgive us all our sins, and that is why, He gave us so great a deliverance and a Deliverer through Christ, Who came to us by the power of the Holy Spirit, indwelling in Mary, His mother, as told by the Angel of the Lord to St. Joseph, Mary’s legal husband and foster-father of the Lord.

By this action, God Himself has descended into the world, to live in our midst, Emmanuel, God is with us, a reminder that all of us are truly precious to God and greatly beloved by Him. God so loved the world that He has given us all His only Son, that through Him all will have life and be saved. That is the truth about the Good News that God has brought to us and revealed before all of us. And this is what we have to remind one another as we continue to progress through this season of Advent, to prepare ourselves so that we may celebrate Christmas worthily and appreciating the true significance and meaning of Christmas.

Let us spend some time to look at how we usually look at Christmas, how we perceive it and treat it year after year. Doubtless to say, many among us treat is as a festive and joyous occasion, but too often we are distracted by the many temptations of worldly excesses, as surely we know how we are often inundated by the commercialised perception and marketing of the secular Christmas. These are distracting us from the true essence and meaning of Christmas, as the One Whom we should be focusing on and celebrating about has often been sidelined and forgotten.

Instead, we treat Christmas as a time of feasting, merrymaking and celebrations to entertain ourselves, our ego and our desires. We seek to outdo one another in the grandness of our celebration and in the expenses we spent to celebrate, as well as desiring for many good things to please ourselves, whether in the celebrations themselves, in the company of people whom we celebrate with, and in the presents we exchange and receive, desiring and hoping to get better things for ourselves, or to revel in all the festive mood and all.

But we forget entirely why we celebrate Christmas in the first place. We forget why we, as Christians, are called to focus above all, Christ and His saving work, His kindness and compassionate mercy, the wonderful love by which He made fully manifest God’s enduring love and providence for all of us His people, through His ministry and work, His revelation of God’s truth, and finally, through His own volition, embracing a most painful suffering and death for our sake, by taking up His Cross. He suffered and died so that through those, we may all be saved.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, in the remaining time we have in this season of Advent, as we are coming ever closer to Christmas, let us all spend some time to reflect on how we perceive and plan to celebrate this Christmas. It is indeed right and proper for us to celebrate in Christmas as we should. However, we have to celebrate it with proper understanding and appreciation of God’s love for us made evident and clear in the flesh, through Christ His Son, that our celebrations are centred on the One Whom we ought to be rejoicing about.

Let us all therefore do our best to inspire one another to renew our Advent journey and reflection, so that we may come ever closer to greater appreciation and understanding of God’s work of salvation and love for us, in all that He had done for our sake. Let us all turn towards Him with genuine love and devotion, and do what we can to live a good and faithful Christian life, so that in whatever we say and do, we will always strive to be worthy of God, in all things, and worthy to welcome Him into our hearts and our lives, as we should do, this Christmas. May God bless us all and be with us always, now and forevermore. Amen.

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