December 24, 2020 Christmas Eve
HOMILY: CHRISTMAS HOMILY 2020
When I went to Regina first week of December, a priest asked me a favour if I could drive him back and forth to the hospital for his medical check up. When I was about to pick him up, another priest asked me same favour to accompany him buy a huge cardboard box used for sending parcel to the Philippines. I beg him; can we fetch him first before we can go to the store? So we went together but the first priest requested us to come with him to pay a short visit to the Filipino sisters. The second priest was slightly uncomfortable because he was in a hurry but he gave way to the request. While we were having conversation, I unintentionally asked where to find the nearest store to buy the huge box? One of the sisters said, Father, we have an extra box in the store room and we will give it to you for free. I cheerfully exclaimed, see the fruit of doing the will of God...we were not only treated for free lunch but also a cardboard box for free.
We are celebrating the nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ. The spirit of Christmas is doing the will of God. In the gospel that we have just proclaimed, we heard about persons who responded unconditionally to the will of God. Joseph was so uncomfortable to take Mary as his wife but right after the angel appeared to him in a dream, gave up his plan to abandon her in secret and took Mary as his wife. Our Blessed Mother too, she was so perplexed about the annunciation from angel Gabriel that she will be the Mother of Jesus, she expressed trustingly her FIAT, let it be done according to his word. The shepherds also after their encounter with the angel had decided to proceed immediately to the place where the angel told them to go. They listened although slightly reluctant but eventually follow exactly what the angel told them and they found the greatest gift of all, they came face to face with the new born baby who is the Messiah.
The will of God requires abandonment of our personal whim. We have to be trained to reject godless ways and worldly desires as the Letter to Titus said. This is exactly the Christmas culture where we were raised, advertisements about mouth watery food, appliances on sale, gadgets with special promo and so on and so forth. This year is entirely different from the previous celebrations. Shopping spree is not highly encouraged. Gathering is very limited. It is inviting us to have a simple celebration and in a quite atmosphere. It seems that our heart, mind and soul is being set free from these worldly destructions so that we can focus ourselves to Jesus and our family to listen to Him and to spend quality time which is centered on our relationship with our children.
The will of God brings forth abundant blessing. You have brought them abundant joy as in the harvest season and as the plunderers divide then loot. They are types of people who just worked and remained optimistic about the outcome. When we do the will of God we cannot undermine the fruits of our obedience. Just love the Lord and your neighbours especially your family this Christmas, you will receive great blessings beyond what you can imagine. Just do it and you will realize material gifts are nothing compared to Jesus who is the source of all gift! Merry Christmas!