Homily Theme: The coming of Jesus

The Season of Advent is a period of four Sundays in preparation for Christmas. Yet the Gospel reading of today isn’t talking about the Santa Claus or the need to start decorating our homes for Christmas, or even about the Christmas parties and cakes. Rather, its emphasis is on the end time. Jesus gave a photographic description of the end time: “the terrifying signs in the sun, the moon and the stars, the roaring of the sea and the waves, and people will die of fright.” These descriptions appears to be a contradiction of what Advent should represent. But in reality, Saint Luke does not intend to terrify us, he is rather equipping us for the task ahead. He is reminding us of the transient nature of our earthly existence, of which nothing is permanent. Those who placed their hopes and trust on the things of this world will surely be disappointed. He is simply asking you to, “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” (Lk. 21:36). The questions each one of us has to ask himself today are: how often do you pray? Do you still read and meditate on the Word of God at your private time? Do you make it an obligation to always come to holy mass at least on Sunday or Saturday evenings? Do you still hope in God during the difficult moments of your life? Do you treat others the way you would like to be treated? Is God still the most important thing in your life? The answers to some of these questions would tell each one of us whether to fear, or rejoice at Christ’s coming. If you have aligned your life to Christ, then the gospel reading is asking you to, “stand erect and raise your heads because your redemption is at hand” (Lk 21:28).

Also, the season of Advent reminds us of the redemption which the birth of Christ will bring to humanity. The book of Revelation captures this hope in the description of the personality of Christ through the mouth of one of the twenty-four elders in heaven, he says: “Don’t cry. Look! The Lion from Judah’s tribe, the great descendant of David, has won the victory, and he can break the seven seals and open the scroll.” (Rev. 5:5). The prophet Jeremiah in the first reading speaks of God’s fulfillment of His promises through the coming of Jesus. He says: “Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will fulfil the promise I made to the house of Israel and the house of Judah” (Jer. 33:14). God’s plan of raising a descendant from the linage of King David is a message of faith and hope in God’s promises which he had fulfilled in the birth of Jesus Christ, an event we shall be commemorating after a fruitful preparation during this season of Advent. We are therefore invited to prepare for the coming of Jesus the Messiah as revealed by God, by examining our lives to know if they are in line with God’s commandments. And to amend our ways, so that the birth of Christ which we shall celebrate at Christmas, will bring us closer to God. We therefore pray in this holy mass that the Lord will purify our lives of sin, so that we might be prepared and always ready to welcome the new born Jesus into our lives.

Fr. Justin Nzekwe


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