HOMILY FOR THE 3RD SUNDAY OF ADVENT YEAR A. (9)










HOMILY FOR THE 3RD SUNDAY OF ADVENT YEAR A.

THEME: WAITING IN JOYFUL HOPE

BY: Fr. Arthur Ntembula

(Isaiah 35:1-6.10, James 5:7-10, Matthew11:2-11)
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Before the rains come, we see a lot of bare land in summer, dry vegetation, and natural foods are scarce. At the dawn of the rains, we begin to see transformation: new shoots sprouting, temperatures cooling down, and there is hope for great harvests ahead. This is the kind of transformation Isaiah describes in the first reading when he talks about the messiah’s coming. He delivers a message of hope to a troubled nation. The messiah shall restore what the people have lost. His coming shall be their liberation from everything that has kept them in slavery. In this messiah, they shall see the glory of the Lord and they shall not remember their dry moments anymore. The coming of the Lord shall bring them joyful hope for a peaceful atmosphere.

READ ALSO: HOMILY FOR THE 3RD SUNDAY OF ADVENT YEAR A

In the gospel, John the Baptist, the last prophet to talk about the coming of the Messiah, now imprisoned, hears about a certain man who is doing mighty works. He then wants to know if this man is the messiah Israel has been waiting for and of whose coming he foretold. He sends his emissaries to go and find out. Jesus responds to them, “go and tell John what you hear and see; the blind receive their sight and the lame walk, lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised, and the poor have good news preached to them…” In other words, Jesus tells John the Baptist that he is indeed the one whom Isaiah and John himself prophesied. He is among the people as the fulfiller of God’s promises. He is breaking everything that has kept the people in slavery. The lame are walking, the blind are seeing, the deaf are hearing, the dead are being raised and the poor are receiving their fill. The actions of Jesus express the fact that God fulfils his promises. He is forever faithful. He has fulfilled the prophecy that Isaiah talks about in the first reading. Ours is to wait on him, patiently, in the joyful hope of his manifestation in our lives because he also wants to visit and save us.

St. James, in the second reading, urges us to be patient as we too await this messiah. He likens this patience to that of a farmer who awaits the precious fruit of the earth. Just like the people of Israel, we too have our own problems. We go through certain situations that make us doubt even the existence of God. Our faith is tested. We feel imprisoned in our confusion of life. We feel tied and fail to make progress in life. We feel cursed. We feel terrified by what is to come. We look to God and wonder if he ever hears our prayers. Whenever we feel all this, we should remember the prophecy of Isaiah, made to the exiled Israel. The coming of Christ into our lives is also our freedom. St. James urges us to be patient. God never abandons those who persist in prayer. He hears their cry and comes to their rescue. When we hear the prophecy of Isaiah and the admonition of St. James, what we get is joyful hope. Good things come to those who wait on God’s promises to be fulfilled.

ENJOY YOUR LITURGY
Fr. Arthur Ntembula

 

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