Parish Calendars

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Homily for the Fourth Sunday of Advent

Who do we consider the most important people in the world? Is it the person who bags our groceries at the store, or is it the politician with the million dollar smile and thousand dollar haircut? Do we consider important those who live simply, or is it the flashy Hollywood actor or actress that we see on the big screen?

If humans were to choose our savior, we would likely choose a great warrior who defeats enemies with powerful weapons while giving great power and wealth to those who follow him. God's will is not like human wisdom, however. Our savior came simply, humbly. He was born in a small town, which the first reading described as “too small to be among the clans of Judah.” (Micah 5:1)

Humans would want a savior who came from the “right” people, the people that are held as important in the world, such as the popular political leaders or entertainers. Our Lord came from obscurity, born to a simple, humble woman. Instead of increasing the stature of those who are proud and seen as important, God lifts up the lowly.

Why does God use the lowly to advance His will in the world? By human wisdom, it seems like more could be done by working through those with earthly power. Sadly, it doesn't work that way. Those who gain earthly power frequently are corrupted by that power, seeking to do their own wills instead of the will of God the Father.

To be lowly and humble means having an openness to the will of God and a desire to fulfill that will. The humble realize that what they want is unimportant in the face of God's will. Mary became the mother of Our Lord because she humbly submitted her will to the will of God.

Our Lord Himself did not come as a great ruler with military might and conquering armies. Instead, He came as a humble carpenter, spending most of His life working a humble job and living a humble life. Yet, He came to do God's will, and literally gave His life to do it.

In fact, Our Lord's very death shows the humility that He lived. He could have given His life in a blaze of glory, but instead died in the most humiliating way possible on the Cross. The Letter to the Hebrews reminds us that “we have been consecrated through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.” (Hebrews 10:10) By Our Lord's humble death on the Cross, God's will was completed perfectly. Though He was born lowly and humbly, dying just as humbly, Our Lord's “greatness [reaches] to the ends of the earth.” (Micah 5:3)

As followers of Christ, we need to overcome our prideful desires and humbly seek the Father's will. Instead of worrying about what we want to receive as we prepare for the celebration of Christmas, we should seek how God wants us to serve Him during the upcoming Christmas season. Perhaps he wants us to give a gift to someone who is in need. Maybe we're called to spend some time visiting with those who are lonely. It may even be as simple as being called to spend more time in His presence praying that His will be done. There are as many ways that we can humbly give of ourselves as there are those we are called to serve.

As we enter into this last week of Advent and final preparations for the Christmas season, may we each individually take time to humbly seek and fulfill the Father's will for our lives.

No comments: