Homily for the 4th Sunday of Advent Year B (2)

Homily for the 4th Sunday of Advent Year B


By: Fr. Benedict Agbo


Homily for Sunday December 20 2020

* 2 Sam 7 : 1 – 16, Rom 16 : 25 – 27, Lk 1 : 26 – 38.

The nexus (meeting point) between God’s plan and our own plan is defined by our prayer life. God’s plan for his children is always good, Jer 29 :11, Rom 8 : 28. Faith is all about realizing this while obedience is all about sticking for God’s option rather than ours.

David’s plan and prayer point as we read in today’s 1st reading was to build a befitting house for God but God’s plan was better : ‘I will give you a fame as great as the fame of the greatest on earth… The Lord will make you a house and your sovereignty will always stand secure before me and your throne be established for ever’. The snag here is that God hears our prayers always but in a different way with a different and better plan.

Mary’s ‘fiat voluntas tua’ – let it be done to me according to your Word, as we read in today’s gospel, was the highest prayerful submission ever made in the history of mankind’s relationship with God. Mary enjoys the highest favour in the order of grace because she excelled other human beings in simple faith and obedience by her ‘fiat’.

The centre of worship is fear of God and the highest of virtues is submission to the will /sovereignty of God. Today, Christians seem to fear the devil more than they fear God. There are more deliverance ministries than praise and worship. Jesus, in this last Sunday of Advent is inviting us to his birthday party.
* Story of a child’s birthday party where the child was sent away to the village by the parents to avoid his disturbance.

His prescription is in his Word, Ex 15 : 25 – ‘I am the Lord that healeth thee…’ There are 5 sources of his spiritual authority for this healing : (i) His Name, Phil 2 : 9 – 10, (ii) His Blood, Rev 12 : 11, (iii) His Word, Jn 8 : 31, (iv) His Spirit, Gal 4 : 7 and (v) His Body, Jn 6 : 54. He is the Word that was made flesh and dwells among us, Jn 1 : 14. He is the living bread that has come down from heaven, Jn 6 : 51.He is the way, the truth and life, Jn 14 : 1 – 3. He is the balm of Gilead, ever ready to heal our infirmities, Jer 8 : 27. Many have accepted Jesus as a Saviour but only few have accepted him as a healer /physician of their body and soul.

Let us in this last week of Advent join the mother Church in proclaiming Jesus as the coming Messiah through the 7 O Antiphons, the 7 jewels of our liturgy which we hear proclaimed after the 2nd reading of everyday dating back to the 4th century : 17th December : O Sapientia (Wisdom from on high), 18th December : O Adonai (Lord and ruler of the Universe), 19th December : O Radix Jesse (The Rod of Jesse), 20th December : O Clavis David (Key of David), 21st December : O Oriens (Dawn of the East), 22nd December : O Rex Gentium (King of the Gentiles) & 23rd December : O Emmanuel (God is with us).

The most operative word in today’s gospel is ‘The power of the Most High will overshadow you’, Lk 1 : 35. It happened in the Old Testament as soon as God took over the project of saving his people : Ex 13 : 21 says that ‘God preceded them in a pillar of cloud by day to show them the way and in a pillar of fire by night to give them light’. Ex 40 : 34 says that ‘As soon as the cloud overshadowed the tent “the Lord’s presence filled it”. When God’s presence overshadows you, ‘nothing will be impossible’ in your life as in Elizabeth’s and Mary’s case.

* Story of a friend whose wife conceived after 30 years of marriage.
On the last day, the important distinction will not be between those who worshipped God and those who didn’t but between those who obeyed God and those who didn’t because ‘Obedience is better than sacrifice’,1 Sam 15 : 22. St Paul says : ‘When the mystery of Jesus Christ hidden for many years was finally revealed, God expected human beings to TRUST AND OBEY , Rom 16 : 26 – 27. And this is exactly what we learn from our Blessed Mother Mary in today’s gospel.

Let me end with this beautiful hymn : When we walk with the Lord in the light of his ways. What a glory he sheds on our way. While we do his good will, he abides with us still, and with all who will trust and obey.

Happy Sunday dear friends!


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