Homily for Friday of the 3rd Week of Advent Year A
Theme: Behold, I am the hand maid of the Lord; let it be done to me according to your word.
By: Rev. Fr. Callistus Emenyonu, cmf
Homily for Friday December 20 2019
READINGS: Isaiah 7: 10-14, Ps. 24, Luke 1: 26-38
Few days from now shall lead us to the greatest of all births and the summit of and birthday of all birthdays. Five days from today shall break the joy of the fulfilment of the prophecy of old that a sign of a virgin with a child shall be given to the world. We are seeing it not as a promise to be realized in the future but a reality that is with us and that stares at our face. We shall witness the entrance of the greatest being born in the form of humans in this world. It is the official entrance of God for intervention in the history of man. This is greater and is celebrated more highly than the triumphant entry of Jesus to Jerusalem that announced his earthly and heavenly kingship. We are to celebrate the mystery so incomprehensible that the creator comes like a creature; a God who has no beginning records a beginning in human history; that a God who is not made and pure spirit is born into the world in a human family.
Beloved, that sign given about the Virgin is realized in the Gabraelic message to Mary as seen in their dialogue similar to that of Zachariah. The mystery of this time is today focused on Mary, the woman announced as “full of grace”. This virgin sign with pregnancy as announced of old is seen in a more dramatic manner in the gospel of today. The Archangel Gabriel has a mission to this Virgin to deliver a simple yet complicated and seeming unbelievable message. She who was to be a joyful and hopeful sign to the world received a mysterious and somehow impossible and difficult to comprehend message. Her virginity which she valued was like she should compromise it. She inquired in her simple faith attitude how such a thing would come to happen since what human beings know and believe is that a virgin cannot conceive and bear a son and remain a virgin. It was to be that she will become pregnant at a time she had not planned and not ready for it. She was to accept a big responsibility she never dreamt of and never prayed for that of pregnancy in a manner that would ridicule her dignity and put her personality to question. It is on this note that she made a mark that has never been recorded of any human born on earth, so unprecedented and shall never happen again to any human being born of a woman on this planet.
Beloved, when Mary was told of this hard mission to undertake for the sake of humanity, she sought for understanding and knowledge from the messenger of God. She being full of grace would not have any element of doubt in any message that comes from God but in her simple faith asked for clarification. Her question made it possible for the Angel to tell not just her but to the world till our generation and the next that her conception is divine and the Holy Spirit of God did it. It removes every element of human trait leaving us with mystery. It made us also hear the biblical truth that with God all things are possible. Here her questions makes us see that God is greater that science and her postulations and every human knowledge. With the explanation filled with more revelations, Mary responded with a “fiat”. She said: Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord, be it done to me according to your word. Here she resigns completely and totally to the will of God. She says here that: See me as you look at me (Behold), I am nothing than what God wants me to be or what he has made me to be. I am, she said, the work of God’s hand and his personal property, I am like clay in his hands my porter, and I cannot decide what image I shall be made of. It shall and must be to me as God wills. I cannot change the plans of God but I am ready to allow God change my plans and that is my joy now.
We pray that we may be ever ready to allow the will of God prevail in our lives and that we may be patient to comprehend the plans of God for us. Let our lives sing with the psalmist thus: Let the Lord enter, he is the king of glory. May we allow Christ to enter and be born in our hearts this season. We pray that like Mary we may have clean hands and pure heart and have our souls removed from vain things so as to receive reward from the God who saves us and the God who has the best plans for us, Amen.
Rev. Fr. Callistus Emenyonu, cmf