Homily for Thursday of the 3rd Week of Advent Year A
Theme: The birth of John the Baptist
By: Fr. Benny Tuazon
Homily for Thursday December 19 2019
Fourth Day of Simbang Gabi, December 19, 2019 (Lk. 1:5-25)
In today’s Gospel we have a part of the events surrounding the birth of Jesus, particularly the birth of John the Baptist, the voice crying in the wilderness, the precursor of Jesus Christ the Messiah. The angel brought to Zechariah the Good News that Elizabeth, his wife will bear a son who they will name John and was supposed not to drink wine or anything strong. Zechariah questioned the news because both of them were already advanced in years and Elizabeth was barren. His doubt merited him the punishment of not being able to speak until the birth of John. The First Reading draws a parallel story about Samson who was also born of a barren woman with conditions that his hair will not be touched and his lips will not taste any wine. Two miracles with conditions. One was violated and the other was doubted. But God’s plan continues and came to be fulfilled.
Nothing and no one can stop God in fulfilling His plans. He seeks the cooperation of man. But if man does not cooperate, He will find a way. He is God, there is no other. Samson was meant to play his part by being gifted with extra ordinary strength. We know the story. Delilah was able to discover the key to his strength. A razor touched his hair and he was doomed. But not God’s plan. Zechariah doubted the angel’s news. He was punished but later redeemed himself by naming his son John, against tradition but according to the will of God.We also know the story. John proceeded to fulfil his role. God’s will prevailed. In this sense, we cannot but admire Mary. Against all odds, she obeyed God. But that is another story.
Obstacles will be thrown between us and our goal to be a good disciple. More obstacles will be thrown between us and God. It is the devil’s task to do both. It will thwart every little action, idea, and words which will strengthen our relationship with God. God will do His part. His will will be fulfilled in every person. But, like Zechariah, we must redeem ourselves once we reject His will. And like Mary, we need to be faithful against all odds. God, no matter how He wanted us to be with Him, cannot violate our freedom which He Himself gave us. In other words, our cooperation is necessary to benefit in the salvation which God, in Jesus Christ, has wrought for us.
The theme of obedience, which is an expression of faith, reverberates and recurs in all these readings during Advent. Rightly so because it was the way we were saved and the way we will be saved.