Homily — 4th Sunday Advent C 12/20/09

Homily — 4th Sunday Advent C 12/20/09

How does this happen to me, that the Mother of my Lord should come to me? St. Elizabeth asks in today’s Gospel.

That question is one each and every one of us should make our own this last Sunday before Christmas.

How does this happen to me, Who am I that the Lord and His Mother should come to me?

Who am I, who are you, that God should come to you in the womb of the Virgin Mary? Who are you that Almighty God should come to you in the form of a baby wrapped in swaddling clothes?

Do you know who you are in God’s eyes?

You are, first and foremost immensely loved by God the Father. At your conception in your mother’s womb, Almighty God, out of His sheer goodness freely created you, in His Divine Image.

As my old seminary professor from Hartford CT, Fr. Liptak would always say, “God created you singular, unique, and unrepeatable!”

God loves you so much, He wants to spend eternity with you in Heaven, a place of unending light and joy and peace and holiness and unity.

God loves you so much, that He even left these glories and riches of Heaven, and descended into to this dark and joyless and brutal world, and was born in that manger 2009 years ago.

No comforts of a palace, no modern comforts of electricity, heat, medicine or transportation. God was born the Son of a poor Carpenter because He wanted you to know love and serve Him in this life and be happy with Him forever in Heaven.

Who am I that the Lord should come to me? You are God the Father’s beloved child, God the Son’s beloved Friend, God the Spirit’s beloved Temple – never forget that, and don’t let anyone ever tell you otherwise!

But you and I are also something else, that the Lord should come to us.

You and I are also sinners. Born under the curse of Original Sin, as the Hail Holy Queen says, “poor banished children of Eve” and of Adam, our disobedient parents; banished with them from Paradise, subject to the punishment of death.

We know the good we are to do, but left on our own we are powerless to do that good; left to our own, our flesh time and again gives in to temptation and breaks the Holy Commandments of God.

And yet, even when we were sinners and deserving of God’s wrath, God still unconditionally and passionately loved us, and sent His Son to be born of the Virgin Mary on Christmas night.

And so, because we were sinners, because we had all gone astray like sheep, everyone to his own way, Jesus with all his heart lovingly chose to be born into this world, in a cave, His tiny body wrapped up like a mummy in linen swaddling clothes, to remind us that He was born to die for our sins and be buried in another cave once more wrapped up in linen burial clothes, sprinkled with the myrrh the Magi gave Him that first Christmas.

Jesus was born in the cave on Christmas night, so that you and I would be able to Rise Gloriously from the cave with him on Easter Sunday, with all our sins forgiven and with His Holy Spirit within us.

How can this happen, Who am I, that the Lord and His Mother should come to me?

This Christmas, may we know more deeply the wonderful answer to that important question.

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