Fourth Sunday of Advent
Theme: “Love of Christ; Faithfully Fulfilling His Covenant”
Homily by Fr. Romie Jun Peñalosa
First Reading : Micah 5: 2-4
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 80: 1-2, 14-15, 17-18
Second Reading: Hebrews 10: 5-10
Gospel: Luke 1:39-55
LOVE OF CHRIST: FAITHFULLY FULFILLING HIS COVENANT
(A RECAPITULATION BASED ON THE HOMILY OF +FR. ROMIE JUN PEÑALOSA)
Today, as the fourth candle of Advent representing love is lit, Father Jun reminded us of the things we need to be prepared for. As we already know and understand that Advent is a time for preparation for the coming again of the Lord; we also need to prepare our hearts and our lives if we truly believe what we, as a church, have been proclaiming – that Christ will be coming again! “The success of everything that we celebrate in life, depends on our preparation. The more we prepare, the more we are guaranteed success.”
So, what are we going to prepare? It is our hearts. We need to cultivate the following: first is hope. We need to see to it that hope is always kindled in our hearts. No matter how hopeless the circumstances, let hope continue to shine. The second is faith. We need to cultivate it by doing and obeying what God is telling us to do. Regardless of how many times we fall and fail, get up always and walk with faith, not by sight. The third is joy. As the scriptures teach us to serve God with gladness, we need to see to it that in everything we do, we have the joy of doing it, “for the joy of the Lord is our strength!”
Our hope will always be tested. Also our faith and joy in Christ. But let us remember that this testing in our lives produces the groaning… there is that infilling that happens to us when we are being tested. The more we are tested, the more we are filled with the love of Christ!
Our Gospel reading today is one of the most beautiful stories ever written in the Bible. For it tells a story of love, of a mother – considered to be the best icon of love. Mary, as the first disciple of Jesus, being the first one to receive the Word, after Gabriel, the angel, proclaims the Good News to her, magnifies and rejoices in it. Elizabeth, despite her being old and barren did not see it as a burden when the angel of the Lord told her she will bear a child. These two mothers did not look at the circumstances around them but only looked to the truth that God has favored them. They are rejoicing for God has fulfilled His promise in their lives!
“When there is joy and love in us, the word of God comes in us; it becomes prophetic in us.”
As a church, we need to rejoice every day because God’s promise in us is working out every day to be fulfilled in our lives. We might be going through difficulties in life now, and facing unfavorable circumstances…but all these testing and trials are just proving our hope, our faith, our joy, and our love for God.
Here, Father Jun share the church mission by 2022 to plant and build more mission churches. He expresses his excitement but at the same time, feel apprehensions knowing we will be encountering mighty and strong giants in the land. But praise God, we have this hope, faith, joy, and love of Christ in us – God is with us! Therefore, who can be against us?
Two things we learn from the gospel about love today:
- Once you are filled with the love of Christ, do not stay home and become complacent. Like Mary, when impregnated with love of God, she went out to bring Christ to others. Why? Because she is a Christ-bearer. Each one of us, are Christ bearers so let us bring Him to others.
- We need to work together. And here, love is very important. Without love, it is hard to work. We need to understand that as achurch, we will never accomplish the work that God would want us to fulfil if we work individually.
God’s destiny with our lives is already within us. All we need to do is love each other and begin to help each other. Let us not worry about who will get credit, what is important is we could be of service to one another.
“Love is best demonstrated in humble service; when you start to help and serve others with humility.”
MERCY DE LA CRUZ-ESPIRITU
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