HOMILY FOR THE FOURTH SUNDAY OF ADVENT YEAR B.
HOMILY THEME: GOD IS FAITHFUL
BY: Fr. Johnbosco Obika
1st 2SAM 7:1-5, 8B-12, 14A, 16
2nd ROM 16:25-27
Gospel LK 1:26-38
AT the darkest moment of human history when fear and anxiety held humanity in chains, when the people of God were sustained only by the last energy of hope and the coming of the Messiah was long overdue, God stretched his hands and wrote straight on a crooked line. Indeed, everyone had every reason to fear. The Jews were afraid of the Romans other external aggressors and needed urgently a Messiah. The rest of humanity was in captivity of sin and error. Even Mary was afraid at the message of “impossibility” from the angel Gabriel. Joseph was afraid of taking Mary as his wife. However, at the appointed time God showed His faithfulness and reversed all impossibilities. The birth of Jesus Christ vanished every fear and proved God to be promise keeper.
The readings of today’s liturgy put God’s faithfulness to His promise on the spotlight. The first reading recalls God’s covenant with his servant David. The Davidic covenant was fulfilled in the Gospel reading with the birth of Jesus Christ. The Davidic Covenant refers to God’s promises to David through Nathan the prophet. It is found in 2 Samuel 7 and later summarized in 1 Chronicles 17:11–14 and 2 Chronicles 6:16. It is an unconditional covenant between God and David in which God promised David that the Messiah (Jesus Christ) would come from his lineage and whose kingdom shall be established forever.
The assurance of the promise made to David rested entirely on God’s faithfulness and does not depend at all on David or Israel’s obedience. From the time of the promise to the time of the birth of Jesus Christ there were about twenty eight generations. If after twenty eight generations God still kept his promise, then we can have no more option than to agree that the steadfast love of the Lord shall never cease to be, his mercies never come to an end. They are new every morning and great is his faith (Lamentations 3:22-23). No time is late for God. He visits us in our hopelessness, helplessness, imperfections, injuries, fear, shame and confusion and turns our world around. This is the merit of Christ’s coming.
What can prevent us from seeing God’s promises fulfilled in our life? Fear! Fear covers God’s abilities and uncovers the weight of our problems. It actually makes us prey to human opinion. Fear makes us to go to the wrong direction and allow others to follow. It makes us to be silent when we should speak up. It opens the door for demonic possession. Mary was faced with the difficulty of accepting the virgin birth and so was Joseph in a accepting pregnant Mary as a wife. But God told them as He tells us “do not be afraid”. They believed, took courage and all fear was arrested. You might be facing Some fear of the unknown, fear of past mistakes, fear of present challenges, fear of tomorrow. Some promises may be coming to fulfilment but we may be distracted by fear. If we let faith take the place of fear we shall see God’s promises fulfilling in our life.
Move according to God’s plan and his faithfulness shall be more visible. In the first reading David has his plans. He wants to build a house for God. But this was not God’s plan for him. It was not within his calling to build a house for God. God’s plan for him was that out of his root a king shall be raised whose dynasty shall last forever. So building a house for God was out of place. It could be a wonderful human project we undertake but it could be a waste of time before God.
Mary had her plans as a young girl. Her parents too had their own plan. They betrothed her to Joseph. No parents will not be happy to see their daughter getting married. Seeing as many grandchildren as possible is the dream of parents. But here comes the plan and the will of God. Mary surrendered all, said Yes to all, endured all and gave us all we can ever have— Jesus Christ. Align to his will. Not our will but God’s will be done. In his will is our peace. In his will is our joy.
Happy Christmas in advance!