Theme: ONLY CHRIST CAN FIX OUR WORLD!
By: Fr. Augustine Ikechukwu Opara
Homily for Sunday November 28 2021
HOMILY FOR THE FIRST SUNDAY OF ADVENT YEAR C
(JEREMIAH 33:14-16; 1THESSALONIANS 3:12-4:2; LUKE 21:25-28,34-36)
The word Advent is from a Latin word, advenio – meaning “the coming.” It has an idea of a constancy in it and not just arrival at one time and not at another. If you look at the whole scriptures, you will understand what this means. Now, speaking of ‘the coming of Christ’, we find that it is a mystery, for there is not one, but three distinct comings of Christ:
i) His historical coming; Christ has already come in the past about 2000 years ago,
ii) The Parousia: Christ will come in future at the end of the world,
iii) His integral presence in the church and especially in the sacraments; Christ still comes today in the sacraments-very specifically through the Eucharist.
Thus, in a general sense, the period of Advent encompasses the historical duration of Christianity, viz. Past, Future & Present. So, a Christian in this sense could be said to be always a citizen of Advent.
The First Coming; God comes in weakness, God comes in the quiet of the night, God comes like a helpless child, in need of men and women to take care of him, to watch over him, to feed him, to do all these unbelievable things when you think that the Blessed Mother and Joseph are raising a child who is God Himself. But what makes this so much more important is the longing and the hope that the children of Israel brought down through the centuries, beginning with Abraham and all the way to when Joseph and Mary went to the little village, the little town of Bethlehem, the seat of King David of olden days, and there was born the child.
The Parousia will be more dramatic. The Second Coming is the end of the world. And this is what St. Luke describes as the end of the world in the gospel. The Second Coming, when will it come? No one knows. Jesus says, “Only the Father knows.” But this kind of desolation, built up over the centuries among the Jewish people of a great fearsome judgment, it’s the Judgment Day, the day that we should be brought forth before God and we would be judged for what we really are.
And the Third Coming is that Jesus is with us as he promised “I shall not leave you as orphans; I shall come to you”. And this promises he made physically active in the holy eucharist. (Jn 14:18) The Risen Lord will be with us on the journey, down through the years, no matter how long it takes, He will be at our side and never abandon us. And, of course, this is the real joy of Advent: the fact that our loving Messiah comes to lead us safely home.
But Advent is more importantly the season of hope, because the promise is no matter what happens one truth will last: “I will be with you all days, even to the consummation of the world.” (Matt. 28:19&). Advent is a time of waiting on the Lord, who is always true to his promise.
This first Sunday of Advent reminds us that Christmas is just around the corner. We all have our hopes and aspirations for Christmas. These four weeks of Advent are our annual season of waiting in hope for Christ with prayers and vigilance. This season of Advent waiting reminds us that everything is not quite right with our world. Our world is somewhat broken and needs fixing. The world is broken because it does not pay attention to Christ or put Jesus first. The only way to fix our broken world is to mend and repair it with Christ. Christ is the solution to our broken world.
God bless you!
Fr. Augustine Ikechukwu Opara