Homily – Third Sunday of Advent (A)

‘Are you the one who is to come, or have we got to wait for someone else?’

People often reminisce about the good old days when life was better.  They long for those days to return because the present time differs vastly.  A time when the economy ran smoothly, life was simple and stable, a peaceful existence between countries.  No doubt there are many other things one can add to this list.  

The 1st century Jewish people anticipated the coming of a powerful figure to restore Israel to its former glory when they enjoyed prosperity and independence.  Ten centuries earlier, King David, one of Israel’s most notable kings, responded to God’s call, he gained prominence after his humble beginnings, he ruled with exceptional management and leadership.  Many considered David a person of great faith, who helped the people with their own faith. 

People’s expectation including those of John and his followers that their “anointed one” must carry out the same feats as the great kings of the past.  Jesus has often shown us that our ways are not his ways.  He did not conform to earthly expectations, rather he helped people to revise their expectations.  His response to John’s disciples confirms that he will not restore the “good old days” but establish the days that are far better when people are free from blindness and immobility, their hearing and life are restored to the way that God intended.  Jesus gets to the heart of what true freedom and prosperity are about. 

Our best days are ahead of us when we welcome God into our lives.  How do we welcome God?  Look around us and try to see God in every aspect: our encounters with others, our feelings and emotions, the simple and profound events in life.  With the promise of good days ahead, it is worth rejoicing and celebrating. 

By Fr Hoang Dinh


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