YEAR C: HOMILY FOR THE 1ST SUNDAY OF ADVENT
HOMILY THEME: THE PROMISED ONE WILL COME
BY: Fr. Simeon Uchendu
(Jer 33:14-16; 1 Thess 3:12- 4:2; Lk 21: 25-28.34-36)
Our first reading began this way; “Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will fulfil the promise I made to the house of Israel and the house of Judah” (Jer 33:14). The moment I read it, a song came to my mind. It says, “He has promised, he will never fail, I will follow, I will follow him. He has promised, he will never fell. His faithfulness, is forevermore, his faithfulness is forevermore” (2x). God is faithful to his words
Through the Prophet Jeremiah, the Lord renewed his commitment to a promise he made; the promise about the coming of the Messiah. He said that in those days, he will raise a descendant from king David’s line who will execute justice and righteousness in the land. It’s a message for faith; faith in the fact that God can keep to his promises. No matter how long or what happens, he never forgets, he never fails (Josh 21:45) he is always faithful. It is a message of hope; the expectation that the messiah will come. That is the Advent message; that the Promised One will come.
Advent is simply from the Latin word, ‘Adventus’ which means ‘coming’. Advent is the season that begins the liturgical calendar of the church. It is the season we prepare for the coming of Jesus the Messiah as revealed by God. Hence our advent reflects three different phases; (a) the Old Testament era, the original advent, when the people of God expected and waited for the Christ to be born, (b) our liturgical advent, this time when we ask ourselves basic questions and prepare for our encounter with him, every day, even now, and especially in the sacraments as we match towards the Christmas celebration, and (c) the Ultimate Advent, which all other preparations gear towards, which is the Second Coming of Christ. This last implies that the Christian life as a whole is actually a life-long advent season in-preparation for the Second Coming of Christ (the parousia).
God keeps his promises. His promise in the first reading came to pass with the birth of Jesus. It was this Jesus, who in the gospel (Lk 21) said that he, the Son of man will come again, this time in a cloud with power and great glory. But there are two sides to it; to some, it’ll be a time of redemption, to others, it’ll be like a trap of destruction, depending on the side you choose and how serious you are.
What are the practical implications of today’s message?
1. God keeps to his word. After many prophesies (Gen 3:15, 2 Sam 7:12-16, Is 7:14, Jer 33:14 etc), and hundreds of years, Jesus came. You may not understand it all, yet He is faithful. Stick to him.
2. Be part of the family: in the first reading God said he will fulfil his promise to Israel and Judah. Jesus came to save all, yet formed a community. The salvific effect of his blood is for those who say “yes” to him. Don’t stay away (Heb 10:25), be part of the family. Don’t just attend and have your name in the book, be a living part of the Children.
3. Develop your spiritual life: About this, our second reading may be summarized this way; “may you abound in love, have a blameless heart before God living in your life the dictates of the gospel”. And Jesus, in the gospel added “pray at all times”.
4. Never loose focus: Jesus said in the gospel, “watch”, which means, “be sensitive, be careful, be on the alert”, lest you fail.
God bless. Amen
-Fr. Simeon Uchendu