The New Beginning
FOURTH SUNDAY OF ADVENT
The New Beginning
Advent is ending. God’s love is manifesting itself among us. Justice and peace will come to people of goodwill. Those whose hearts are torn by the good news of Christ’s coming and turn away from their sins, God will bless them. In Christ Jesus, God will make them perfect and holy; he will keep them safe and blameless, spirit, soul, and body. God will be faithful to those who are faithful (1Thess.5:23-24). The following, I think, is a beautiful summary of the Advent narrative: the children of God enthralled by the good news of Christ’s coming will mend their ways, turn away from sin and ready themselves to establish a firm and lasting relationship with God in Christ Jesus by making his virtues, values and valour their own.
Mary and Joseph are towering examples of faith for us in the Advent narrative. Once they discerned the voice of God, they obeyed it. God’s will come to perfection in them. To this day God has kept Mary and Joseph safe and blameless, spirit, soul, and body. God did not and he will not fail his Mother nor his foster father. Mary, he created the model of the Church; Joseph he appointed as guardian of his Church on earth. The examples of Mary and Joseph are the level of receptivity God is pursuing in us throughout the four weeks of Advent so that when Christ comes again he will find us in a state of grace and living a righteous life.
Mary’s Immaculate Conception freed her from sin. Joseph was a righteous man. We are conceived and birth in sin (Ps.51:5) but God yearns for our redemption and our salvation. He wants us to enjoy the same benefits as his Son, his Mother, and Joseph (Rom.817). Throughout the Advent Season, the Lord kept warming our hearts and appealing to us to prepare ourselves for a new beginning. Turn away from our sins and prepare ourselves to live a blames life in body, soul, and spirit. This is what the Lord meant when he said, “In his days justice shall flourish and peace till the moon fails.” In other words, the kingdom of righteousness, justice, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit will reign in our hearts and among us and the earth will be renewed (Jer.65:17).
Christmas, therefore, is not only for church and for those going to church. Christmas signals a new beginning all together: historically, socially, politically, economically and religiously – all transformed by the grace of God to inaugurate the new heaven and the new earth God has in mind for us all. In other words, Christmas point us towards the new heaven and a new earth where justice and peace will embrace (rev.41:1, 4).
Come, Lord Jesus, come.