ADVENT OF DIVINE VISITATION: BE READY AND WATCHFUL! HOMILY FOR THE 4TH SUNDAY OF ADVENT (Year C) Rev. Fr. Boniface Nkem Anusiem Ph.D.

Divine Visitation Xmas

My godfather was one person that would never fail to give me a gift whenever and wherever he sees me. My mom knew about that and anytime she wanted me to tidy up my clothes and other personal effects she would tell me that my godfather had said sometime ago that he would be visiting soon, and he wouldn’t like to see me in a mess. Instantly, I would tidy up get myself ready while keeping an eye on the road to welcome when he comes.

Gospel of this last Sunday of Advent Year C (Luke 1:39-45), recalls the visit of Mary to Elizabeth after the visit of the angel Gabriel to Mary. We could recall that Mary asked the angel Gabriel how she could conceive and bear a son since she was a virgin. The angel answers and tells her: “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you…” (Luke 1:35).

The answer the angel Gabriel gave to Mary shows the promise of divine visitation contingent upon Mary’s acceptance of the divine proposal. Consequently, as soon as Mary gave her consent, “I am the servant of the Lord, let it be done to me according to your word” (Luke 1:38), the Holy Spirit came upon her, and the power of the Most High overshadowed her; this is the divine visitation proper.

The Gospel of this Sunday continues the narrative of divine visitation which is clear from Elizabeth’s utterance under the influence of the Holy Spirit when she heard Mary’s greeting, “how does this happen to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me?” (Luke 1:43). To certify that the visit was not like any other kind of visit, Elizabeth discloses that the sound of Mary’s voice made the child in her womb to leap for joy.

Standing on this Fourth Sunday of Advent which is a few hours away from Christmas, we await our divine visitation, and like Elizabeth, we could as well say, “how does this happen that the Lord should come to us at Christmas?” What qualifies us to receive this amazing divine visitation?

Are You Ready and Watchful?

During the preceding Sundays of Advent, we heard the instruction about the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and we were also challenged to prepare and wait in joyful hope. On this Sunday, we examine our readiness and how intentionally watchful we are in anticipation for the coming of the Savior.

You could recall from the opening story that I would always get rid the mess around me when I hear that my godfather would be visiting so that he would delight in me and give me gifts. The one whom we await is more than any godfather; he is also coming with gifts that no human benefactor can provide. Are we ready and watchful now that his coming is a click away?

Moving Forward!

Our readiness should transcend the lighted Christmas trees, beautiful cards and gorgeous gifts we give and receive. Ideal readiness is the cleansing of the inner recesses of our being; our hearts where the Jesus Christ would be born.

A king was visiting one of the provinces in his vast kingdom and decides to come by foot dressed like a street beggar. The noblemen and women of the region gathered at the entrance of their city waiting to welcome the king riding on a horse with his usual entourage and gallant soldiers.

As people were waiting, they did not know when the king passed and entered the city dressed as a beggar. Inside the city he could not find any of the noblemen and women, and he goes to stay with the poor beggars and the insignificant members of the city who welcomed him with joy not knowing that he is their king. He stayed two days in the city with the poor while the rich and noble were waiting at the city gate to give the king a royal welcome. It was on his way going that we revealed his identity.

Let us be watchful in addition to our readiness so that the Lord does not come while we are looking out for him in the wrong places and the wrong outfits. The First Reading (Micah 5:1-4a) tells us that Bethlehem, too small among the clans of Judah, would produce one who is to be ruler in Israel. Divine visitation is not an exclusive reserve to the great and influential but a facility for the meek who wait for the Lord. Micha (7:7) says, “I will watch for the Lord; I will wait confidently for God, who will save me. My God will hear me.” Yes, He is visiting soon!

Have a pleasant Sunday and intriguing experience of divine visitation. God bless you always.

Fr. Bonnie.

 

 

 

 

 

One Comment on “ADVENT OF DIVINE VISITATION: BE READY AND WATCHFUL! HOMILY FOR THE 4TH SUNDAY OF ADVENT (Year C) Rev. Fr. Boniface Nkem Anusiem Ph.D.

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