Homily Fourth Sunday of Advent Year C Obedience to the will of God

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Homily Fourth Sunday of Advent Year C 

 

Reading 1: The prophet Micah centuries before the birth of Messiah prophesied that he would be born in Bethlehem. This was in keeping with the prophetic word before him, which said that the Messiah would be from the house/clan of Judah. Bethlehem was insignificant among the towns in Judah in size. However, it’s fame was the town which David the King had come from. Again the connection to the prophetic word of God, the Messiah will be of the house of David, of the house of Jesse, of the clan of Judah.

 

Micah further specifies two qualities of the Messiah in relationship to David. Like David he will be a king and like David he will be a shepherd caring for the flock of the Lord. The Messiah will be able to accomplish all because his strength is in the Lord. As a result, he shall bring peace to the earth.

 

This prophetic word was fulfilled by Jesus, who was born in Bethlehem and who said he was the Good Shepherd, whose kingdom is not of this world. The text from Micah was the text that the priests told Herod , when he inquired where the Messiah was to be born.

 

Gospel: Mary had experienced the appearance of an angel, who told her that though insignificant in the eyes of the world had been chosen to be the Mother of the Messiah. He told her that she would conceive the Son of the Most High by the power of the Holy Spirit. This Son would save his people from their sins. Mary without understanding his message submitted herself to God’s plan.

 

Mary was also told of another work of God. Her cousin, Elizabeth, who in her old age as conceived a son. Mary, not thinking about herself hastened to care for Elizabeth. Zachariah and Elizabeth were both insignificant in the eyes of the world. Yet the child to be born would be the greatest of all prophets before Jesus.

 

Elizabeth, by the power of the Holy Spirit confirms for Mary the message that the angel had revealed to Mary. She also confirmed that the child conceived by Mary was the Lord. Elizabeth’s prophetic word concluded with the confirmation of Mary’s decision to submit herself to fulfill the word of God to her.

 

In the eyes of the world, each of us is insignificant. Yet, God has done great and mighty things for us. Mary’s response was obedience to the plan of God. Elizabeth’s response was rejoicing in the Spirit for what God has done in her and in Mary. From them we learn what our response should be to all that God does in our lives.  We are called not only to say “Thy will be done” but to do the will of God consciously each day. We are called not only to recognize what God is doing, but to praise God privately and publically, proclaiming his mighty deeds of mercy and love.

 

Reading 2: Jesus made the hallmark of his mission on earth that of doing the will of the Father, even to become a sacrifice for our sake. “By this will” we have been consecrated through the offering of the body of Jesus once for all. The sin of Adam and Eve was choosing not to do the will of God, not to submit themselves to the plan of God, not to be dependent on God, but to seek to be equal to God. Jesus, in his humanity, came to rectify what was done by the sin of Adam and Eve. He did this by choosing to embrace the will of God even to death by crucifixion.

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