HOMILY FOR THE 2ND SUNDAY IN ADVENT YEAR A.
THEME: GREATER DAYS ARE COMING!
BY: Fr Livinus C. Igbodekwe
1. A Shoot Shall Spring Forth: Hope of Jerusalem.
God never abandons any project of salvation. He saves to the uttermost (Heb 7:25). Israel or Jerusalem is God’s covenantal project. No matter the deplorable state she is in, God still gives her a new beginning. He does something new (Isaiah 43:19). He makes the glory of the latter to surpass that of the former (Hag 2:9). Jerusalem may look so deplete and desolate, yet she still remains the Bride of Yahweh. The enemy-nations may think her case as miserable and irreparable, yet their God shall make a new beginning out of the old stock of Jesse. The former kings may have contributed to the shame of Jerusalem but, God shall still make a bud to sprout. This bud will be the King that saves the day. He shall possess the seven spirits of Yahweh which the former kings lacked. And he shall reign with justice and wield a rod of judgment against the wicked. He shall establish the kingdom of justice throughout the land. The sons and daughters of Jerusalem shall return amid gladness and joy, escorted/served by princes (Isaiah 49:23).
2. Don’t Give Up But Wait!
Whenever there is a word of prophecy, there is a need to wait for it. This exhortative prophecy of Isaiah motivates its hearers not to give up but to wait. Resilience in integrity is very crucial. The Second Reading urges us to stand fast in well doing just as Eleazar, a 90 years old man persevered unto death and refused to be defiled by pork; just as in the days of the Maccabees when women kept the covenant of circumcision of their kids to their death by being hung by their breasts and thrown down the city walls; just as in the days Daniel observed three-times-prayer against the decree of the king; just as Shedrach, Meshach and Abadnego refused to bow to the golden statue. These are the days that will dawn the days of glory. The blood of saints shall revive the Church.
3. Make a Way; Straighten the Paths!
After a long period of prophetic silence, a voice rises. This voice is John the Baptist. He comes to herald and usher in the new reign of God’s glory personified in Jesus Christ, whom he reports as the One greater than he. John the Baptist looks much like the message he carries. His dress code and his diet are serious enough for people to take him serious. Today, some preachers do not look serious as their message. They come to the pulpit to entertain and to show off with their exquisite fashion. John is not such a preacher. No wonder Jesus asked the people who gather what they have come to see. John rebukes those who need rebuke; warns those deserve it; and exhorts those he should. Repentance is the only way to make way for the Christ. And such repentance must produce its fruit; not a lip kind.
Happy Sunday and Gracious New Week to you all!
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