Thursday, November 26, 2015

First Sunday of Advent Cycle C

Welcome to read homilies for the Sundays of the year. These are sample homilies which you can read with devotion. You may use them in your own homilies without asking my permission. You may also change or edit these to fit them to your audience. A unique quality of these homilies is that they are Christ-filled. From beginning to end they present to us some aspect of Jesus so that beholding his glory we “are being transformed from glory to glory into his very image” (2 Corinthians 3:18 NAB).

The Precision of Jesus’ Knowledge of the Future and our Present

When we lie down at night to sleep we are confident that the sun will shine on the morrow. We know this for a certainty. The knowledge of what will happen the next day is sure enough for most of us. At the beginning of the month we know that on the 15th or end of that month we will receive our salary or wage, for those of us who are working for others. We also know this for a certainty. Some events may intervene which would invalidate this knowledge, like sickness or an accident. Whether for a day or for a month we know things in advance. The farther the time the more uncertain we are of the future. More or less we know that one year from now you and I will still be living. But this is not sure knowledge because we know that we can be dead by then from an accident or sickness, God forbid. And ten years from now we really do not know what will happen. The economy may crash again, the political situation will be in an upheaval, the environment may be devastated. Much more if it is a century or one hundred years from now. For sure we will no longer be here. So we really do not know what will happen then.

But with Jesus he knew precisely what would happen centuries from where he stood.

In his life he knew precisely what would happen days or weeks ahead of time. He knew, as recorded in Matthew 21:1-3, that as he was speaking a man would tie his colt and that his disciples would get that colt and bring it to him. As early as in Matthew 16 Jesus knew that he would suffer and he knew precisely how he would suffer. He did not just say that he would meet a violent death. In Matthew 20 he told us that it was the scribes and chief priests who would find fault with him, then he would be handed to the Romans, he would be made sport of, flogged and crucified. He knew the details.   

But Jesus’ precise knowledge of the future did not apply only to his personal life. He knew also what would happen years after his resurrection and ascension to heaven. In fact he knew what would happen centuries later.

The Gospel for today’s Sunday tells us the details of Jesus’ knowledge of the future. He told us, “There will be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars, and on earth nations will be in dismay, perplexed by the roaring of the sea and the waves.
People will die of fright in anticipation of what is coming upon the world, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of Man
coming in a cloud with power and great glory.”

He used the future tense in the indicative mood. He did not say, Maybe this or that will happen because of this or that. He went straight to the future facts: the sun, moon and stars will behave abnormally, nations will be in dismay, the seas will roar with waves that are gigantic. Then he will come in a cloud with great power and glory.

But this knowledge of Jesus was not only about the big events in this world. He knew precisely what would happen to us. In fact because he now is Lord of this world he knows what is happening to each one of us. And he knows what will happen to us. That is why he counselled us in the Gospel reading “Beware that your hearts do not become drowsy from carousing and drunkenness and the anxieties of daily life, and that day catch you by surprise like a trap.”

He knows that we will be anxious about our daily life and that this anxiety will take away attention from him. That is why he tells us in Matthew 6:26-34 to stop worrying about our today or our tomorrow.

He knows what is happening to each of us now. For those of you who have actualized the grace given you in baptism you know that Jesus lives in you. There inside you he knows what is happening to you. As the Psalmist says in Psalm 139, “Truly you have formed my inmost being, ... My soul also you knew full well, ... your eyes have seen my actions”.

For those of you who have not undergone the conversion which enables you to be fully conscious of being truly a child of God, Jesus is waiting that you surrender your life to him so that he can take over your affairs. Unless you do this, you will be trapped by the cares of this life. Now is the time to surrender to him, as the Little Flower St. Therese of the Child Jesus advices us. For her this is the new and shortcut road to perfection, love and unconditional surrender to Jesus as Lord of our personal life.

Jesus knows what is happening to us because he knew this centuries ago. He takes care of us, if we let him do it.

Let us bow down our heads and pray.

Jesus, you prophesied your second coming centuries ago. You knew then what would happen to us. You know what is happening to us now. Because you have resurrected and ascended to heaven and you have sent your Spirit to us we know that you are present among us and in each of us. Make us follow your advice not to worry about our daily life because you care for us. Amen.