Theme: Believing the Promise of God
By: Fr. Luke Ijezie
Homily for Sunday December 19 2021
1. Today is the last Sunday of Advent, meaning that Christmas is at the corner. The readings of this Sunday invite us to believe that all God promised will come to pass. Believing is not easy, especially when there are reasons not to believe. We struggle with the crisis of faith in diverse ways everyday.
I can’t forget this experience, which repeats itself in various ways. After Mass one Sunday, a middle aged woman walked to me and said, “Father, all you said in the homily today was about my life. I had doubted that God would do a certain thing in my life, but when the thing happened more than I had expected, I became ashamed of myself for not trusting God enough.” I told her, “Madam, you are not alone. I have had similar experiences in life, and each time I felt ashamed for not trusting enough.” Yes. God does more than we ever imagine. In the Gospel of today, Elizabeth says admiringly of Mary: “Blessed is she who believed that what was spoken to her by the Lord
would be fulfilled.”
2. The Gospel of Luke 1:39-45 presents the two pregnant women, Elizabeth and Mary, as two showcases of how God works in near impossible situations. Elizabeth was popularly known to be baren and written off as never going to conceive. But God did more by making it possible for her to conceive even in old age. Mary herself had wondered how she could conceive, having had no intimate relation with a man. Again, God does it in His own way and awesomely. As the angel said, with God nothing is impossible. Mary believed it and reaped the fruit of her belief. Likewise we are invited never to lose hope, no matter what is currently happening in our lives. God is always faithful and makes true all His promises.
3. In the first reading from Micah 5:1-4, the prophet foresees the future greatness of Bethlehem of Ephrathah even though presently she appears most insignificant among all the cities of Judah. Sometimes, our present difficulties or inadequacies tend to discourage us from aiming higher. We are admonished never to give way to such hopelessness. God has a plan for us which we must strive to claim. We must make our own the words of the second reading from the letter to the Hebrews 10:5-10: “I have come to do your will.” God has always great surprises for us. It’s left to us to bend our wills to His own will which holds better promises of life, joy and peace. Mary teaches us a great deal through her fiat: “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. Let it be done to me according to your word.”
As we prepare proximately for the Christmas, may God take control of all our hearts that we may realise all that His love holds in store for us both individually and collectively!
Fr. Luke Ijezie