2013/12/22 - Homily - 4th Sunday of Advent

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Between Promise and trust.

We are so close to Christmas day. It is time for the last preparations for the coming of our Redeemer.  In their own way, today’s readings are here to remind us.  The four passages from the Holy Bible are to nourish our ears and our minds. The link between these readings is “promise”; the great promise of the Messiah. The Promise announced by the prophet Isaiah, extending to all ‘good men’ in the psalm.  And the Promise given to Joseph and commemorated by st Paul.  Four kinds of promise about the same situation. Because of our faith, we can relate to these readings with more or less ease.

But what about “promise”, in general? We know that promise requires trust. So do we easily   put our trust into a promise made by somebody? I can hear some voices saying: ‘that depends’. But on what ? On the situation and finally on the person asking us. The most important example of this is with marriage; when a man asks a woman to be his wife. All of their future life together is based on mutual trust. Without trust, the choice of a good husband or wife even with a bit of good luck and good will, will not be enough to make things work. Trust is something we give once and need to renew every day.    

We know, as Christians, that the trust we give to another, other person must be immerged in the trust that comes from God, from whom all good comes.  But what does it really mean to put our trust in God? Often we are like Akhaz and don’t dare to ask, fearful of disturbing God with our shallow, unimportant requests. But we can be sure, that for God nothing is too small or unimportant. And if we are not sure whether what we are asking God is ‘good’ or ‘bad’, we need to ask Him to show us.  And with the Grace of the Holy Spirit, we come to know when our request is right or wrong and in accordance with his will.

Indeed, the best way to know what is a good promise and consequently what is trust, is to look at the man in the psalm 24:

“he who climbs the Mountain of the Lord, a man with innocent hands and a pure heart, who doesn’t use God to do wrong”

But who is like this?  Jesus himself of course. And Joseph, his adopted father. Joseph was prepared, as was Mary. And we also must be prepared to welcome such a promise.  Cleaning our house is good, cleaning our lives and our conscience is much more important. We can do it in different ways. One of them is through the strengthening of our faith, and the renewing of our trust in God.

‘Yes, Father, I believe that your son, Christ, our savior, is coming to earth and that he reveals himself to us and to the world  every time we put our trust in his presence’.     

It will be the first gift that we can give ourselves and to our relatives and friends. Let us remind ourselves and them that we can trust God and that he will never break his promise to us. As St Paul says “The good news of God, as promised by the prophets, concerning his son, from the line of David, established by the Holy Spirit”.

We have to accept today and tomorrow, our Christmas gift. ‘The Lord himself will give you this sign’. He gives it to us by sharing his life with us.  For this reason, rejoice and  continue to put our trust in life, and especially in the people that we feel follow the Gods’ will.