Homily for the 1st Sunday of Advent Year C
Theme: How Prepared are you for the Coming of Christ?
By: Fr. Chibuike Uwakwe.
Ten Years Anniversary Edition (2011 – 2021)
Today, we live in a world where too many prophecies are told daily. Several preachers and prophets, both real and fake, claim to disclose the mind of God. As it were, many believe these prophecies ranging from total eclipse to one plane crash or the other or even to the end of the world. On several occasions, the world had been prophesied to end on a particular date. Because of the failure of these prophecies to come to pass, many people now, do not listen to end time prophecies again.
Towards the year 2000, there were great speculations that the second coming would take place and that the world would come to an end after three days of darkness. This made several persons change their life styles for good out of fear but when the prophecy failed to materialize, they went back to sin while many became less interested in the second coming of Christ and saw it as a fairy tale.
This was similar to the condition of the early Christians to whom Luke wrote. It was widely believed among the early Christians that the fall of Jerusalem and the destruction of the temple would coincide with the second coming of Christ and the end of the world. Unfortunately, Jerusalem was conquered and the temple was destroyed yet the world continued to exist. Disappointed as the early Christians were in their crises of faith, they gave up their belief in the second coming of Christ and began to indulge in earthly pleasures and moral laxity.
For this reason, St. Luke in presenting the gospel to them as we saw in the gospel reading (Luke 21:25–28, 34–36) reiterates the teachings of Christ about the second coming and advised them to be on their guard so as not to “be coarsened with debauchery, drunkenness and the cares of life so that the day of the Lord will not take them by surprise”.
Though the gospel reading originally addressed the early Christians, it also addresses us and has several implications for us. We also live in a world where though there are several predictions about the second coming of Christ, people still live with moral laxity as if the world would never come to an end. Today’s message is to get us prepared and disposed to anticipate and welcome the Lord whenever and however He comes. The emphasis now should not be on when or how (manner) He will come but on how prepared we are to meet Him.
As we are launched into the season of Advent today, the Church is going to make us more disposed and prepared to meet Jesus in our lives both as a new born King and as the judge of heaven and earth. As the first reading (Jer. 33:14–16) points out, we are in a period of expectation, expecting the fulfillment of the promise God made to the house of Israel and the house of Judah “to make a virtuous Branch grow for David”. This virtuous branch is Jesus and He will practice honesty and integrity in the land. This is a promise made out of God’s love for us which we are expected to reciprocate.
For this reason, St. Paul exhorts us in the second reading (1 Thess. 3:12 – 4:2), to love one another. Advent should be a period of showing love both to the God who is coming to save us and to our brothers and sisters. This love will now help us to “make more and more progress in the kind of life that we are meant to live: the life that God wants”. This love will enable us prepare for the second coming of Christ who has loved us and through it, “God will confirm our hearts in holiness that we may be blameless in the sight of our God and Father when our Lord Jesus Christ comes with all his saints”. God loves you.
To enable us prepare well for the Second Coming, three steps are necessary:
1. Frequent examination of conscience in the light of what Sacred Scripture and Tradition teach.
2. Conscious Reconciliation with oneself (metanoia), God (contrition), the Church (confession) and one’s neighbor (apology/forgiveness).
3. Adequate Satisfaction through penance (including spiritual and corporal works of mercy).
God loves you. Happy Sunday.
– Fr. Chibuike Uwakwe.
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