Homily for 4th Sunday of Advent, Year C

O Lord, We Are Ready For Your Divine Visitation And Encounter

Readings: 1st: Micah 5, 1-4; Ps: 79; 2nd: Heb 10, 5-10; Gos Lc 1, 39-44

 This brief reflection was written by Rev. Fr. Njoku Canice Chukwuemeka, C.S.Sp. He is a Catholic Priest and a Member of the Congregation of the Holy Ghost Fathers and Brothers (Spiritans). He is currently working at the Sanctuario del Espiritu Santo, en Dorado, Puerto Rico, del Internacional Grupo Espiritano De Puerto Rico – Republica Dominicana. For more details and comments contact him on: canice_c_njoku@yahoo.com, canicechukwuemeka@gmail.com.

Last week we celebrated “Gaudete” Sunday when the church encouraged us to rejoice because our Lord is near. On this fourth and last Sunday of Advent, our first reading and gospel have one thing in common. This is the fact that from the least of the lowly clan of Judah; and from Mary the lowly handmaid, God has prepared a body for Christ, the prince of Peace. Christ according to our second reading from Hebrew assures his father for our sake: “Here I am! I am coming to do your will!” He comes soon in order to fill our hearts with his spirit of peace and joy as he did to Elizabeth and the child in her womb.

As we gradually approach the fulfillment of God’s promise to us, the gospel of this Sunday presents us with the visitation of Mary to her cousin Elizabeth. In spite of her pregnancy, Mary still found time to visit her cousin in order to share her joy and to assist her. This is a proof of her spirit of hospitality, generosity, humility, love and her faith in God who chose her. This is why she is blessed. It was not only Mary that visited Elizabeth but also, the Divine Child and Prince of peace did. Hence, this visit was divine.

Also, it is important to note that what happened between the child in Mary’s womb and the child in Elizabeth’s womb was a divine encounter. What happened during this divine visit and encounter is exactly what the psalmist describes as: “When love and faithfulness meet together, when justice and truth meet; righteousness and peace kiss and embrace each other” (Ps 85, 10). Both Elizabeth and Mary felt and saw it happen spiritually.

The visit of Mary to Elizabeth was not a mere coincidence. It was a well thought plan of God, which was executed at the appropriate time. This season, God has planned to honor each one of us personally with a divine visit. This visit is not by an accident. Rather, it is a well planned visit. He knows the way to where we live, he knows our house number, he knows the number of our flat, and he knows exactly the number of our room. He comes quickly to visit us personally in order to bring about some remarkable changes in our lives.

This season brethren, what we are about to have is a divine visitation and encounter with the child Jesus. This encounter will fill us with the Holy Spirit who will empower us as he empowered Elizabeth. This divine encounter with Christ will bring us transformation and it will provoke peace and greater joy in our hearts as it did for Elizabeth and the child in her womb.

Finally, soon and very soon, we shall hear a knock at our door, and hear the voice of Mary the new arc of the covenant bearing the divine child. They are close to us. So let us dot all our “Is”, and cross all our “Ts” in order to receive them, so that our joy may be complete this season. As we wait for our divine visitation and encounter this season, let us implore the Lord: “God of hosts, bring us back; let your face shine on us and we shall be saved.”

Peace be with you all!

Maranatha!

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