Theme: A Better Day is Coming
By: Fr. Luke Ijezie
Homily for Sunday November 28 2021
1 Thess 3:12-4:2
Luke 21:25-28, 34-36
Today, the Church begins the Season of Advent which is a period of waiting and hope. What makes life liveable in a period of hardship is the hope that better days are ahead. This hope of better days is what the Church celebrates at Advent. The readings express this hope ofrom diverse perspectives.
The prophet Jeremiah in the first reading presents a promise and covenant keeping God who has decided to visit His people to assuage their pain. He sees a glorious future, which he calls the “day” when the expectations of justice and peace will be fully realised. Jeremiah 33 is a consolation text for all who live in distress. It encourages us never to give up as God has a plan for His people.
The psalmist of Psalm 25:4-14 sings the praises of this God who comes to rescue His people and guides the humble to justice.
In the second reading, the Apostle Paul encourages the Thessalonians to remain blameless in holiness and get strengthened in mutual love as they await the coming of the Lord. The fact is that the awaited Day, while it brings good news, can also become a perilous experience for those who refuse to conduct themselves well. This is the point of the Gospel text from Luke 21 which gives a stern warning regarding the the terrific events that will signal the coming of the Lord. The Gospel text cautions the hearers: “Beware that your hearts do not become drowsy from carousing and drunkenness and the anxieties of daily life, and that day catch you by surprise like a trap. For that day will assault everyone who lives on the face of the earth. Be vigilant at all times and pray that you have the strength to escape the tribulations that are imminent and to stand before the Son of Man.”
This passage contains both a word of doom and a word of salvation. God’s warnings are always intended to help the hearer to focus on the things that enhance better living.
The period of Advent is not a time we wait for doom in a mood of fear and trembling. Rather, it is a time we prepare for the joyful coming of the liberator. There is hardly anyone today who does not thirst for a liberating experience. The sweetness of the experience, however, depends on how we dispose our hearts for the encounter. Unfortunately, many hearts today remain closed, being distracted and filled up with things that bring death rather than life. Funny enough, we seem to scramble for these death-bringing things even when they keep diminishing our lives and society.
We pray that God who always comes to give us better life may open our hearts to prepare adequately for His joyful coming!
Fr. Luke Ijezie