Wednesday, 16 December 2020 : 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 again of the salvation of God that He has revealed and given to us through His Son, Our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. As we approach ever closer to the time of Christmas, we are called to reflect on whether we have appreciated the true significance of what we are going to celebrate, and whether we understand just how fortunate we are, to have been so much beloved by God.

In our first reading today, taken from the Book of the prophet Isaiah, God was reminding His people through Isaiah of Who He was, and how He cared for and loved His people at all times, giving them His love and providence, and how He will lead His people to salvation and into a new life of grace, through His own might and power. He will save them and bless them once again, and He will always be faithful to His words, and they should not believe otherwise.

Once again, all of these, just as the other prophecies and promises that we have heard from the Book of the prophet Isaiah for most of this Advent season are reminding us of God’s enduring love for each and every one of us, His beloved people, whom He loves with all of His heart. And He has sent us all His deliverance and His salvation in none other than Jesus, Our Lord and Saviour. His coming at Christmas is the proof and manifestation of all that God has promised us from the beginning.

In our Gospel passage today we heard of several disciples of St. John the Baptist who came to the Lord asking Him with the question from St. John himself on whether the Lord was the Messiah and Saviour that the world and all had been waiting for, or whether he ought to wait for yet another one. And the Lord told St. John’s disciples that all that He had done, the miracles and wonders that He performed, all had proclaimed the fulfilment of the Lord’s prophecies and promises, and no further explanation or proof is required.

As you can see from the Gospel today, even someone like St. John the Baptist could have his doubts, and contextually, that was because at that time, there had been plenty of false Messiahs that arose and led the people into rebellion and various uprisings against the Romans, and they all failed, since they were all false and not the true Saviour. Although St. John the Baptist had indeed seen the signs when he baptised the Lord, and he recognised Him as the Lamb of God, the Saviour, but he did still have some doubts.

If someone as dedicated and faithful as St. John the Baptist had doubt in the Lord, then all the more all of us here, who can also be filled with doubt and be swayed away from the Lord. If we do not hold firm in our faith in God, we will end up losing our faith as well as our way. That is why today, we are all reminded of the salvation and grace that God has given to us and which He has repeatedly reassured to us.

As we come ever closer to Christmas, are we ready to welcome the Lord into our hearts, into our minds and into our whole beings? Have we been welcoming to Him, and putting Him as our true Lord and Master, as the Lord and Master of all of our whole existence? If we have not done so, it is perhaps that we have allowed our fears and doubts to distract and mislead us all these while.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, let us all therefore use this opportunity that we have received from the Lord, to open our hearts, minds and our whole beings to the Lord, and return our focus on Him, and renew the faith that we have in Him so that our faith will not be just an empty and meaningless faith, but one that is filled with true zeal and fervour. Let us all make good use of this blessed time of Advent to rededicate ourselves to God.

May the Lord be with us and may He strengthen us in our faith, that despite all the challenges and trials, as well as the many temptations of the world, we will always stay firm in our commitment to be the followers of the Lord, all the time. May God bless us always, now and forevermore. Amen.

Wednesday, 16 December 2020 : 3rd Week of Advent (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet

Luke 7 : 19-23

At that time, John the Baptist sent two of his disciples to the Lord with this message, “Are You the One we are expecting, or should we wait for another?” These men came to Jesus and said, “John the Baptist sent us to ask You : Are You the One we are to expect, or should we wait for another?”

At that time Jesus healed many people of their sickness and diseases; He freed them from evil spirits and He gave sight to the blind. Then He answered the messengers, “Go back and tell John what you have seen and heard : the blind see again, the lame walk, lepers are made clean, the deaf hear, the dead are raised to life, and the poor are given Good News.”

“Now, listen : Fortunate are those who meet Me, and are not offended by Me.”

Wednesday, 16 December 2020 : 3rd Week of Advent (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet

Psalm 84 : 9ab and 10, 11-12, 13-14

Would that I hear God’s proclamation, that He promise peace to His people, His saints. Yet His salvation is near to those who fear Him, and His Glory will dwell in our land.

Love and faithfulness have met; righteousness and peace have embraced. Faithfulness will reach up from the earth while justice bends down from heaven.

The Lord will give what is good, and our land will yield its fruit. Justice will go before Him, and peace will follow along His path.

Wednesday, 16 December 2020 : 3rd Week of Advent (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet

Isaiah 45 : 6b-8, 18, 21b-25

From the rising to the setting of the sun, all may know that there is no one besides Me; I am YHVH, and there is no other. I form the light and create the dark; I usher in prosperity and bring calamity. I, YHVH, do all this.

Let the heavens send righteousness like dew and the clouds rain it down. Let the earth open and salvation blossom, so that justice also may sprout; I, YHVH, have created it.

Yes, this is what YHVH says, He Who created the heavens, – for He is God, Who formed and shaped the earth, – for He Himself set it : “I did not let confusion in it, I wanted people to live there instead!” – for I am YHVH and there is no other.

Who announced this from the beginning, who foretold it in the distant past? Is it not Me YHVH? There is no other God besides Me, a Saviour, a God of justice, there is no other one but Me. Turn to Me and be saved, all you from the ends of the earth, for I am God and there is no other. By My own self I swear it, and what comes from My mouth is truth, a word I say will not be revoked.

Before Me every knee will bend, by Me every tongue will swear, saying, “In YHVH alone are righteousness and strength.” All who have raged against Him will come to Him in shame. But through YHVH there will be victory and glory to the people of Israel.