THEME: THE COMMEMORATION OF THE NATIVITY OF CHRIST.
BY: Fr Cyril UNACHUKWU CCE.
Advent is a moment of preparation that keeps before our focus the future about what God will accomplish for us at the end of time when Jesus will come in glory and the perennial relevance of what He had definitively accomplished many years ago with the coming in the flesh of His only Begotten Son. The first accomplishment was in view of assisting us not to miss out in the second, where and when the orientation and the manner of our eternity would be unveiled. May we be imbued with the graces and blessings of Christ’s coming in human form; Amen.
With the Fourth Sunday of Advent, the Liturgy directs our attention specifically to the commemoration of the Nativity of Christ. The Readings of today take us down memory lane and reveals to us how God has been consistent in accompanying humanity in the History of Salvation. The Prophecy of Isaiah in the First Reading (Isaiah 7:10-14) reminds us of a very turbulent period in the history of God’s people; a time of hopelessness and despair, and a period of great uncertainty about the future of Israel; and how God made a prophetic reassurance of His abiding fidelity and love through the promise of a sign that would be decisive for all generations; “the Lord himself, therefore, will give you a sign. It is this: the maiden is with child and will soon give birth to a son whom she will call Immanuel, a name which means God-is-with-us.” This prophecy was in view of God’s definitive manifestation in the History of Salvation which was prefigured in the different ways in which He intervened in the life and history of His people (Heb 1:1-2). The Gospel Reading (Mt 1:18-24) presents us with an account of the actual historical event; full of mysteries beyond human imagination; namely; “Mary was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit.” The Gospel also presented to us some human beings who were out to place all of their life’s dreams and aspirations on the altar of God’s will and purposes; “when Joseph woke up he did what the angel of the Lord had told him to do: he took his wife to his home.” All of these concrete historical figures, convoked by God and confirmed by the Incarnation of Jesus Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit, constitute the many elements that formed the package that is unsealed for us by the Church and celebrated at Christmas. They bring us face to face with the fact that we have a part to play in building a healthy relationship with God and in accepting God’s offer of salvation to us.
What we celebrate at Christmas is a very important historical event that embodies within it the goal and ultimate meaning, significance and salvation of the whole of human history. Saint Paul in the Second Reading (Romans 1:1-7) recaptured it as the “the Good News that God promised long ago through His prophets in the scriptures. This News is about the Son of God who, according to the human nature he took was a descendant of David: it is about Jesus Christ our Lord.” In accepting to come to us in our form, Jesus opened a new chapter in our relationship with God; He established a link between God and us that has given us the widest and surest access to God. The much more notable thing is that He accomplished these in a very simple and uncomplicated way; in the fragility of Child and in the manger that could be described as the scene of lack and discomfort. One basic lesson the Season of Advent leaves us, by bringing us in the present to celebrate the past and to wait in the blessed hope of the future, is to grow in the docility of leaving ourselves to God. The key players at the Scene of the Nativity are those who said Yes to God; they left themselves to God even when it was not clear to them what God wanted from them. They were inspired and strengthened by the fact that God is trustworthy and faithful to His promises. They knew that we can never have a better future than the one God has in store for us. Advent remains a Season of grace to grow firm in this direction; to leave ourselves free for God and to be inspired by the simplicity of God’s ways.
Heavenly Father, our attention is directed towards the Manger in eagerness to behold the face of the Baby Jesus; the God with Us and the Saviour of the world. May Your Spirit strengthen us to eschew everything that may constitute obstacles for us in encountering Him Who alone redeems us; Amen. Happy Sunday;https://www.catholicforlife.com/year-a-homily-for-the-4th-sunday-of-advent-6/
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