Friday, 24 December 2021 : 4th Week of Advent (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today is the last day of the Advent season, marking the end of our almost month-long preparation for the coming of Christmas, and we are reminded of the coming of the long-awaited salvation of the world through what we have heard in our Scripture passages today. The Lord has always held His promise and kept His part in the Covenant He has made with each and every one of us.

The Lord has revealed His plans for us, from the beginning, as He revealed from the very moment that mankind fell into sin, how He would send His Saviour through the Woman who would bear a Son, and through that Woman, the power and dominion that Satan, the evil one, had over us would be totally crushed and destroyed. He would send His salvation through the descendants of Man, through Abraham His servant and the House of David, the one He had chosen to be King over all of His people.

In our first reading today, we heard from the Book of the prophet Samuel of the account of what transpired at the time when King David had been secure in his reign and power over the land of Israel and beyond, and had settled in his kingdom and dominion, and wanting to build a house for the Lord, just as he has already built and established his palace in the city of Jerusalem. The King spoke with the prophet Nathan who then relayed God’s message and words to him afterwards.

God told David that it was not him who would build a great House for His sake, and instead, it would be his own son that would build that House, the great Temple that would be built in Jerusalem, by the hands of King Solomon, David’s son, as God Himself had spoken and promised to David himself. God reassured David that his kingdom and house would be forever secure and firm, and this was firstly a reference to the succession of his own Solomon to rule after him, at the zenith of the power and majesty of the old kingdom of Israel.

However, it was also an indirect reference and revelation to David and also to the rest of the people of God, that He would send His Saviour, the Messiah, to be born into the House of David, as His rightful Heir and Son, to gather back the people of God once again, and to rebuild the glorious kingdom of God, with all of God’s people reconciled and reunited to their Lord and Creator. Little did the people know then that, it was the Lord Himself Who endeavoured to come to us.

He willingly embraced us and by His incarnation in the flesh, as the Son of Man and Son of God alike, in the person of Jesus Christ, He has fulfilled all the promises that He had made to all of us His beloved ones, from the very beginning of time. Christ has come into this world to restore His people and to reunite all of them, not just the Israelites but also including all the rest of the children of Adam, all of mankind who have been sundered from God through sin.

Zechariah in our Gospel passage today, in his famous Canticle of Zechariah, full of the Holy Spirit, singing a great hymn of thanksgiving and praise, for all that God had done for him and for all mankind. He has become a father after a long wait for a son, and God gave him a son, and not only that, but that son was the one to be the Herald of the Saviour of the whole world. St. John the Baptist, the Herald of the Messiah was the one to proclaim the coming of Christ, and Zechariah, seeing all of these glimpses of the glory of God to come, sang in great glory praising God.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, let us all therefore spend some time to reflect today, as we prepare for the great celebration of Christmas beginning this very night. Let us remind ourselves again why we are celebrating Christmas, and what Christmas truly means to each and every one of us. Is Christmas merely just yet another holiday and celebration? Is it merely another time for feasting and merrymaking, but forgetting about Christ Our Lord, our Saviour, Whose coming into this world is the reason for all of our joy and celebrations?

Let us all therefore seek the Lord anew, with a new faith and love for Him, and let us all enter into the season of Christmas and celebrate it with full understanding and appreciation of God’s love, which has been manifested in Our Lord, Jesus Christ, the Saviour of us all. Let us all bear the Light and Joy of the true Christmas spirit, and proclaim the truth and salvation of God to all the nations. May God bless us all, and may He bless our wonderful Christmas celebrations to come. Amen.

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