Here is my homily for this Sunday. Happy Advent!
Audio: 4th Sunday of Advent – Cycle C (New page will appear. Click on link, “4th Sunday of Advent – Cycle C.”)
4th Sunday of Advent – Cycle C
December 22/23, 2012
Micah 5: 1-4; Heb 10: 5-10; Luke 1: 39-45
He is almost here! Soon we will see him, God coming in the flesh, in a manger, in the child Jesus. We have been awaiting him, each Sunday we have been waiting, praying and singing:
Maranatha! Come, Lord Jesus!
O Come, O Come, Emmanuel, God with us!
On Jordan’s bank the Baptist’s cry: Make straight the way of the Lord!
Level the mountains of sin!
Fill the valleys of temptation!
Let all mankind see the salvation of our God!
Yes, we have waited for, prayed for, and we have sung of his coming! Yes, soon Jesus is coming!
Yes, so long ago he came in the flesh, in the child of Bethlehem. This was his first coming. And there was no room for him in the inn.
Yes, he comes today, he still comes, never ceases to come, at every moment in our lives he comes. He comes knocking at the doors of our hearts asking to be let in, asking to enter our lives, asking if there is room for him in the inn, asking if he can make his home among us, asking to live within us.
Yes, he will come again sometime in the future. He will come again in glory with salvation and justice and all will be brought to light on that day, that day of his second coming, and the living will be illuminated by the glory of his coming, the dead will rise and the just and sanctified, body and soul, will be united with God forever.
Yes, Jesus has come; he comes today; he will come again!
This is our faith. It is the faith of the Church. We hold on to this faith with every hope and the sure knowledge of its completion.
On this last Sunday of Advent, we joyfully await, in a holy waiting, a holy remembrance, we await his first coming, the day in which God, Emmanuel, took on our human nature and entered our world as a man, to bring humanity back to God, to grasp us firmly and to lift us up, with him, to share in his divinity. Yes, to make us like him, to make us sons and daughters of God. God will reach down into the deepest of the deep to raise us up to the highest of all heights and take us back to the Father, to our heavenly home.
On this last Sunday of Advent, we have a final chance to rend our hearts, not our garments, to try to open our hearts and minds to the presence of God who is all around us, a God who wants at every moment to become one with us, to become intimate with us, who wants to share our every joy, our every sorrow, our every triumph, and to soften every defeat. A God who continuously knocks at the doors of our hearts and asks, “May I enter? May I be not only your God and Lord, but your brother and father and your very spirit? Is there room for me in the inn?”
On this last Sunday of Advent, we ardently hope for Jesus’ coming, most especially his glorious coming someday, at a time only God the Father knows. We long for, if we examine our hearts, this second coming of Jesus, when all of humanity, yes all of creation, will see the God who has created, and love, and cared for us all, will see him in all his splendor and glory.
Open wide your hearts to Christ! For he comes, he has come, and he will come again!
Open wide your hearts! Do not be afraid! Look at Mary, the Mother of God. She opened wide the gates of her heart to God who came to her. She said, “Yes” to God. She said, “Fiat.” She said, “Let it be done to me.” Mary would not have become the Mother of God had she not first had an open heart that waited for her Savior, and trusted him. She welcomed and treasured, she nurtured and obeyed, she followed and trusted the God who became her son. She opened wide her heart to the coming of the Lord.
Open wide the doors of your life to Jesus! Do not fear to let him come, to let him enter, to let him carry you when you have no place to stay, when they have no room for you in the inn, when you are lonely and frightened, alone and afraid.
Do not fear, but rejoice that Jesus has come into our world to redeem us, to forgive us, to fill in the valleys that have swallowed us up, to knock down the mountains that block our path.
Do not fear, but with undying hope, look for him to come again, renewing everyone and everything, and all who are just, all who have sought and waited and desired him, he will bring to glory!
Maranatha! Come Lord Jesus!