OMELIE / Omelie EN

18 dic 2022
18/12/2022 – 4th Sunday of Advent - year A

18/12/2022 – 4th Sunday of Advent - year A

Reading 1 IS 7,10-14 Psalm 23 Reading 2 ROM 1,1-7 Gospel MT 1,18-24

Today we are assisted by Mary and Joseph in looking at Jesus. Both of them have lived through a situation which would have been of deep anxiety for everyone else, going towards the birth of the one who would have been called their son.

Mary had given her availability to God, through the Angel’s words, and Joseph too, after having been thinking over the dream in which he was reminded of the same Word of the Prophet which had been announced to Mary too. The answer they gave to God had not been easy, just because it would have become a reason to be misunderstood and despised by everyone. Both Joseph and Mary had to keep their eyes constantly fixed on God, without giving any importance to the reactions of men and their judgement.

Regarding this, they are exceptional examples for us. I realise that every day I need to fight against the temptation of paying attention of what this or that person might say or think. If I was all oriented to the Father’s will I would not have to undergo this effort: I would receive mocking and contempt from men, but the Lord would be my complete safety net.

Mary and Joseph had to live through the waiting for Jesus with great joy mixed with fear, suffering and uncertainty derived from the whole environment around them, which was disapproving of their joy. Jesus was already a sign of contradiction for them even before being born.

For them God’s Word was a certainty and guarantee for their journey, for their purity, for their future: it was the Word which the prophet Isaiah had addressed a king with, a king who was confident, but incapable of welcoming God’s signals. In fact, in Isaiah’s times, the king Ahaz did not want to welcome the suggestion to abandon plans of war to live in peace, relying on the divine promise. This is why he refused with contempt to ask for a sign from above. The sign was going to be given anyway, not to him, but to the whole people: it is going to come into the world the one who the prophet calls also “prince of peace”, the one who will couple together the cougar with the kid, the cow with the bear, the wolf and the lamb.

Mary and Joseph are willing to suffer in order to cooperate with God’s plan, they suffer but do not let themselves be defeated by the doubt and the hesitancy which would fill the life of any other person if they were to face a similar situation. Their answer to God is an act of faith, the obedience which experiences effort before joy.

Saint Paul too knows he had been called to obey God by welcoming Jesus in his life. And, after doing so, he has realised that this obedience is a gift, a great gift, a new and true life. The Gospel makes grow in us the true humanity, the fullness of joy and peace. It establishes communion between men in order to experience a strength and a new joy otherwise unheard of. This is why the apostle takes decisively on the task of announcing to everyone his faith in Jesus, nay, the obedience to the faith: he is certain that those who will accept will thank him and God Himself will reward him, because everyone who welcomes the Lord Jesus becomes glory of the Father. In fact, they who welcome Jesus, for the intervention of the Holy Spirit become God’s temple, a source of peace and forgiveness, a place of conciliation for men.

They who welcome Jesus become, like Mary and Joseph, a new humanity. They who welcome Jesus do not receive the promise that everything will be easy, on the contrary, they will experience the suffering of being rejected, a suffering which is both psychological and spiritual, and they will also see practical difficulties, but they will take everything on as an opportunity to give testimony to Jesus, the source of true and eternal life, source of selfless love. Their joy cannot be taken away from them!