HOMILY FOR THE FOURTH SUNDAY OF ADVENT YEAR B.
HOMILY THEME: DIVINE MASTER PLAN
BY: Fr. Gerald M Musa
When people get married everyone expects pregnancy to come right away, and when there is a delay in this expectation, anxiety and questions begin to set in until a pregnancy test proves to be positive. The month of December is a time when we celebrate the last month of the pregnancy of the infant Jesus. It is a time also to think of the mystery surrounding pregnancy and childbirth.
The birth of a child comes with labour, as well as inner pains and struggles. The good news is that God has pronounced in ages past that he is close to those who suffer any kind of pain and he says: “I will not cause pain without allowing something new to be born” (Isaiah 66:9).
Children are a blessing from God. This explains why God made a solemn promise to David about the coming of a child, his descendant. For many years David planned to build a house for the Lord. He was worried that he dwelt in an expensive house of Cedar, while the ark of God dwelt in a tent. God altered the plan of David. God did not allow David to build a house for him, rather God assured David he would build a house for him and not just a temporary palace, but a power structure that will accommodate his offspring who will be future kings. Through this promise God gave to David more than what he asked for and imagined. As it is written, “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man. The things, which God has prepared for those who love Him” (1 Corinthians 2:9).
God has a master plan for the whole of humanity. A Master Plan is a comprehensive long-term plan for progress and development of people. God's master plan is clear in the stories we find in Sacred Scriptures. The master plan begins with creation story to the call of Abraham and continues with the Patriarchs; Isaac, Jacob, Joseph and the experience of slavery in the land of Egypt. The plan extends to the call of Moses and to the journey to the Promised Land, and the presentation of the 10 Commandments (Decalogue). In later years, the prophets announced the birth of a savior who will save Israel from the shadows of death and guide them into the way of peace.
Archangel Gabriel was sent to reveal God’s Master plan for the world to Mary and she responded positively to God’s divine plan. She accepted to be the earthenware, which was to contain a treasure – the savior of the world. Thus she served as vessel, ark, temple, and dwelling place of God.
Socio-Political Situation at the Birth of Jesus: The Angel’s announcement to Mary came at a time when the world was surrounded by a cloud of darkness and was longing for light. Jesus was born at a time when Emperor Caesar was extracting more tax from the people and those who were unable to pay taxes are sent back to the farmlands. During the birth of Jesus, Herod the great was ruler of Judaea, Samaria and Galilee. In addition, at the time of Jesus birth people were confused about the practice of religion and so were enveloped in a kind of spiritual darkness. The Roman conquerors found it convenient adopting and worshipping Greek gods and goddesses. We can relate the socio- political situation at the birth of Jesus to the socio-political condition of our world.
In the year 2017, we witnessed many positive and negative experiences as individuals and families. What is God’s plan for us our beloved nation and what plans does He have in redesigning our situations? What is God's plan for us for the year 2018 and in the long term? As we prepare to celebrate Christmas and as we look forward to the New Year, our constant prayer should be “Lord, show us a sign of your favor" (Psalm 86:17). Someone wrote: “Dear God, if today I lose my hope, please remind me that your plans are better than my dreams.”
——————————————————-Fourth Sunday of Advent
2Samuel 7:1-5, 8b-12, 14a, 16; Romans 16:25-27;