18 December 2022 – 4th Sunday of Advent (Year A)

By Fr Francis Anthony

Isaiah 7:10-14
Psalm 23(24):1-6
Romans 1:1-7
Matthew 1:18-24

Theme: God Is With Us

The Sundays for the preparation for the Feast of Christmas has come to the last Sunday and we saw the fourth candle being lit, bringing in the thought of love.

During Christmas, we are not celebrating the birth of a child. Yes, Jesus was born. We are celebrating that infinite love of God for each one of us. We are celebrating God has not forgotten us. The word ‘Emmanuel‘ given to Him in the First Reading, ‘God is with us‘. We can be anywhere but God is with us. So we will see this downward movement of God’s love. And we must ask ourselves the question now:-

How am I responding to that love?

Yes, love is a two-way traffic. God loves me, I receive the love. Am I responding to God with that love? Am I like the fourth candle that was lit? Shining to others with love? So easily we say ‘I got angry’. And if you go look into so easily you can get angry, it is because of two areas in your life you have to check.

Am I a proud person? And a selfish person?

I would like to put the other part first. A selfish person. I want things my way. And my pride does not allow me to take your decision, your way of acting. I don’t want to give in. And if we go in that direction, there is no love. Yes, we may celebrate Christmas. It will be just an external celebration. No internal transformation.

It is very beautiful that in the church we have two different periods to see how am I turning to God:-

  • One is the lenten season, seven weeks before Holy Week. And that is where we are checking on our lives.
  • And here, just before the birth of Jesus, we are again preparing.

Because this two events, the death and the resurrection and the birth of Jesus is showing how intimately God is loving us. We may forget the commandment of love but He is faithful. He does not forget.

So let us ask during this period. Ask God to forgive us. Ask God to give us the strength to forgive others. If I am not forgiving others, I would like you to take this week’s Herald, the first page, what Bishop Bernard spoke to the people when that Diocese of Melaka-Johor celebrated the Silver Jubilee.

Yes, as long as you are having hatred, envy, jealousy, you are stuck. You are not going to move. And he says once you forgive, you are going forward. You are able to see a direction. You are no more looking back to all the hurts that came in your life but you are looking forward. Forgive. Enough of all those squabbles, worries, problems, hurts and I am going forward.

Let us ask God to help us. Those who want to know more, read this week’s Herald. It is the front page news. And ask God to help us as we are approaching Christmas that we will be people who are looking forward and wanting to establish the kingdom of God. People who are looking forward and wanting to share love.

God’s love is not to be bottled up.

That I bring that love to others.

Click below to listen to the homily and watch the video:-

Click to live-stream Mass on 18 December 2022