Homily Fourth Sunday of Advent Year B God's plan

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Homily Fourth Sunday of Advent Year B

Reading 1: Did you ever had a good or even a great idea but found out it wasn’t God’s plan for you? This happened to King David. Once he had established his kingdom in peace and security, he found himself living in a luxurious house fit for a king. But he realized that the Ark of the Covenant, God’s presence with his people, was housed in a tent.  He felt that this was not a proper dwelling place for God. So he decided that he would build a suitable Temple to honor God.

Great idea, David. But you acted independent of God to do what you wanted to do, to further your renown.  But God, through the prophet Nathan tells David basically thanks, but no thanks.

David is reminded of all that God had done for him, since he was anointed by Samuel the prophet. It was God who enable David to defeat his enemies.

Now, God reveals his plan to David. He says: “I will make your dynasty, kingdom, house renown forever. A descendant from you will be king forever. Instead of you taking on this worthy project, your son, Solomon, will build a temple in my honor.”

In David’s mind he was envisioning a political Kingdom that would last forever. God’s plan was for a spiritual, eternal kingdom. In this God revealed to David and to future generations the coming of a future Messiah-King, who would rule forever. Human kingdoms will come and go. God’s Kingdom will be forever. We know that Jesus is this future king as we will heard in the Gospel.

David submitted to the plan of God without seeing its fulfillment. Can we submit to the plan of God for us without seeing it fully unfold?

Gospel: Mary had her own plans. She was betrothed to Joseph. She was an unknown girl living in an unknown village like her parents and ancestors before her. Her plans were to remain as such. But God had other plans for her.

God had prepared her from all eternity to be the human vessel, the human mother for the Word to take flesh and become man. He conceived her free from sin so that the very vessel of preparation would be inviolate. Mary was not aware of this grace.

While David heard the plan of God through a prophet, God reveals to Mary his plan through an angel.

The greeting of Gabriel was disturbing, but she became more perplexed by what followed: God’s plan was that she would conceive and bear the Son of the Most High God, who would fulfill the prophecy of Nathan to David.  Her own plans flashed through her mind.

Knowing this the angel explained further.  Mary would conceive this son not by the natural human process but by the power of the Holy Spirit. The child to be born is the holy one, the Son of God.

Then to confirm the message and the extraordinary power of God, Gabriel reveals that her elderly, barren cousin Elizabeth is with child. Nothing is impossible for God.

Mary’s own response was an act of surrender and obedience to the will of God without understanding. “Let it be done according to your word.”

God may not reveal his plans for us that dramatically as he did to David and to Mary, but as we come into awareness of his plans will we say yes like David and Mary and eventually Joseph? Or will we seek to do our own will instead. The rebellion of Israel and the consequences they suffered should be a witness to us. We may not heed to the word of God but his plan will be fulfilled with or without us.

Reading 2:  Paul reminds us that the strength to embrace and accomplish the plan of God comes from God.  Once we say yes to his plan for us, God desires to be our strength, our all in all. This is what God commands; this is what the prophets of old stated, what Jesus and the apostles reveal to us, so that through the obedience of faith we will be able to accomplish the will of God in our lives. What seems impossible to us is not impossible to God.

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