Homily for the Second Sunday after the Nativity (1 & 2/1/22)

posted 3 Jan 2022, 03:20 by Parish Office

Homily for the Second Sunday after the Nativity (1 & 2/1/22)

Somebody once came up with a bit of a joke based on the beginning of today’s Gospel. Apparently, in the Catholic edition of the Bible, it says instead: “In the beginning was the word, and the word was ‘no!’” Is God, and following God, always about no? In actual fact, God becoming one of us, taking flesh and becoming man, is rather about God saying “yes”. God loves humanity, the people He has created, and loves them so much that He doesn’t want us to be on our own, trying to figure things out by ourselves. That is why He came among us.

It was always part of God’s plan. St Paul tells us today in the second reading: “Before the world was made, he chose us, chose us in Christ, to be holy and spotless, and to live through love in his presence”. It was God’s plan right from the very beginning. We are not an afterthought.

The first reading and psalm talk about the special place that Israel had in all of this. In fact the last verse of the psalm seems to boast about it:

“He makes his word known to Jacob,

to Israel his laws and decrees.

He has not dealt thus with other nations;

he has not taught them his decrees.”

It’s like Israel is saying to other nations, “we have the revelation from God, but you don’t. We’re special. God chose us, not you.”

But what was the purpose of this special choice? It was all part of the plan of the revealing of His Son. The revelation of the Old Testament prepared the way for Christ. For years, the prophets had been speaking about the One who was to come, the Anointed One, the Messiah. Isaiah spoke of the Suffering Servant, Our Lord Jesus Christ, who was not to appear among the people for hundreds of years. And then, finally, the Christ appeared. What Moses had brought was good, but what Christ brought was even better. As St John put it, “though the Law was given through Moses, grace and truth have come through Jesus Christ”.

But, it was not all glory. There was tragedy too. How prepared were the people for the coming of the Christ? John the Baptist came as his witness,

to get the people ready, but not everyone listened to him. As a result, when Christ came, “He came to his own domain / and his own people did not accept him”. In a sense, this could also describe our age as well. How many accept, and how many reject, Christ today? But the next line also speaks of our own age as well: “But to all who did accept him / he gave power to become children of God”.

Despite living so many centuries after the birth of Christ, that grace and power is still available. One of the growing problems in our society is drug use. It’s getting so out of hand, with so many lives being lost, families ruined, and the dependence also fuels other crime, such as theft, in order to pay for the drugs. Can God helps us in this? Yes He can. One such example is the Cenacolo communities. Founded back in 1983 by Mother Elvira, they admit people who have been dependent on drugs, alcohol or other addictions, such as gambling, and through a life in community, together with a healthy prayer life, they manage to lead people towards Christ and away from their addictions. Cenacolo is one of the more exceptional examples. But whatever our walk in life, Christ is able to work through us and achieve great things in us. Sometimes, we might be the main actor; at other times, we might be more in the background, acting as a signpost for others, facilitating great work. But God’s power is there for all of us.

“In the beginning was the word, and the word was ‘no!’”. Really? God comes to say ‘yes’. If we say ‘yes’ to Him, God will be able to do great things through us, and show that His grace is available for everyone.