Homily for Wednesday of the 3rd Week of Advent Year A
Theme: God’s invitation
By: Fr. Benny Tuazon
Homily for Wednesday December 18 2019
(Mt. 1:18-24) Third Day of Simbang Gabi, December 18, 2016
In today’s Gospel Mary and Joseph now comes into the picture, after John. Mary is the next important piece in the puzzle of salvation. God elected to have His Son be born of a woman in fulfillment of the promise mentioned by the prophet Isaiah in the first reading,
“Therefore the Lord himself will give you this sign: the virgin shall conceive, and bear a son and shall name him Emmanuel.”
God, through the angel Gabriel broke the news to Mary who was taken aback by the privilege and the responsibility. Full of grace, she said “Yes!”, trusting in the goodness and faithfulness of the Father. Next, we will hear about the various circumstances surrounding Jesus’ birth.
Glaring here is God’s gesture of asking the cooperation of the human race, through Mary, in effecting His work of salvation. It gives the strong message that salvation, though will be merited later by Jesus in dying on the cross, still has to be needed and availed of by us. We are saved but we need to want to be saved and actively receive it. It will not be shoved down through our throat, as the saying goes.
Filipinos are aware of a figure named Juan Tamad. He represents those who are too lazy to do anything. He wants things to come to him. Any effort, no matter how little is anathema to him. A classic picture of him is one where he lies flat on a wooden bed under a tree with mouth open waiting for the ripened fruit to fall in his mouth. I will not be surprised if the story will proceed with him being helped by his mother chew the food by massaging his jaws after the fruit had fell in his mouth. It was a bad image to Filipinos. It will be worse if we possess the same attitude with regards to our salvation.
Of course, everything is grace. Our will to be saved also comes from God. But we were given the will, the heart, and the soul to assert ourselves towards salvation. When God’s loving invitation comes, let us pray to have enough grace to accept it in faith and obedience like Mary.