May I welcome you all to the Lord's house of Worship on this beautiful day. With the approach of Christmas Day, how appropriate it is for all of us to proclaim the year of the Lord's favour.
When I first read today's First Reading, [Is. 61:1-2a, 10-11] I
recognized God's prophetic and symbolic language that was being
spoken through the great Prophet Isaiah.
"The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because the Lord has anointed
Me." In these Words, we hear those of the Lord Jesus who was sent
by God the Father for the salvation of mankind.
"He, God the Father, has sent Jesus to bring good news to the
oppressed, to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the
captives, and release the prisoners; to proclaim the year of the
The Heavenly Father sent His only begotten Son Jesus to bring the
good news regarding the approach of the eternal Kingdom. Through
Christ, the invisible Kingdom of God was about to be instituted on
earth and in Heaven.
The glorious Kingdom of God which Jesus, the King of kings, reigns
over at present, had its beginning in Jerusalem when the Holy
Spirit descended upon the disciples on Pentecost Day. [Lk. 24:18,
33, 47-9; Acts 1:3-4, 2:1-5] The invisible Kingdom of God that has
its Divine Throne in Jerusalem is manifested through the Sacraments
of the visible Holy Catholic and apostolic Church that has its seat
in Rome and that possesses the Keys to the Kingdom of God. Both,
the invisible Kingdom of God and the visible Catholic Church form
the glorious Mystical Body of Christ that includes all the past and
present saints who are found in Heaven and on earth.
Jesus came to proclaim liberty to the captives, to release the
prisoners. When Adam chose to disobey God, he fell from the grace
of the Lord. Consequently, he and all his descendants inherited
the sinful nature. God's Kingdom in the Garden of Eden had been
corrupted and taken over by the fallen angel Satan who elevated
himself as the present prince of the physical world. To correct
this, to free those who were captives of Satan, prisoners of his
grip, the Heavenly Father sent His only beloved Son to reclaim the
Heavenly Kingdom. As the rightful King of the Divine and eternal
Heavenly Kingdom, God reinstated His reign through Christ who is
the Lord incarnated.
In God's love, the brokenhearted once more had the opportunity to
inherit the Heavenly Kingdom of God through the Sacraments of the
holy Catholic Church. Through the Sacrament of Baptism, God's
children could now receive the gifts of the new heart and spirit,
both being protected by the indwelling Holy Spirit. Through this
Sacrament, God's children would be made righteous for all the sins
committed prior to their Baptism. This righteousness would be
maintained through the Church Sacrament of Reconciliation.
Finally, to receive their salvation, God's children would have the
Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist, the Living Bread.
Proclaiming the year of the Lord's favour, we should all rejoice in
the Lord. He has provided us with the means to inherit our
salvation, not because of our works, but because of His infinite
grace. By the grace of God the Father, the power of the Holy
Spirit and the sacrifice of Jesus as the perfect Lamb of God, our
souls find salvation through the Church Sacraments of
Reconciliation and the Holy Eucharist.
On the last day of this world, when will take place the
resurrection of all the physical bodies, at the twinkle of an eye,
the physical bodies of those of us who are saved will be
transformed. Suddenly, we will be changed in the glorious image
and likeness of the resurrected Christ.
Indeed, as a bridegroom decks himself with a garland and a bride
adorns herself with her jewels, God is progressively clothing us
with the glorious garments of salvation. He has already covered us
with the robe of righteousness through the Sacrament of Confession.
And He has already covered us with the robe of eternal life through
the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist.
As the earth brings forth its shoots and a garden causes what is
sown in it to spring up, the Lord God is causing righteousness and
praise to spring up before all the nations. We, God's children
from all over the world, are the branches that receive life from
the Tree of life, Christ Himself. As new creations who belong to
the Kingdom of God, as living stones, we are called to shine as
lights in the world. How gracious the Lord has been towards
During today's Second Reading, [1 Thess. 5:16-24] we were told to
always rejoice, to pray without ceasing, to give thanks in all
circumstances, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for us.
We should always rejoice because God has done great things for us
as previously mentioned. We should always pray to secure our daily
communion with the Lord God. We should always give thanks because
all things come from God for the purpose of our sanctification as
His children. We should do this in the Name of Jesus because it is
through Christ, the only Mediator between God and man, that we
receive our salvation.
Then, we are told not to quench the Spirit. To quench the Spirit
means to choke the Holy Spirit to the point that we can no longer
hear His inspirations in our hearts. Jesus gave us the indwelling
Holy Spirit to sanctify us. Through the Spirit of God, we learn to
respect the words of the prophets because in the Holy Scriptures we
find the promises of God the Father. By the power of the Holy
Spirit, we have the ability to test everything, perceiving what is
good so we may hold fast to it. We have the ability to perceive
what is evil so we may abstain from it. The Holy Spirit is our
Teacher, our Guide, our Comforter, the source of Divine knowledge,
understanding and wisdom.
Through the Spirit of the God of peace, it is God Himself who
sanctifies us entirely, soul, spirit and body. It is by His power
through the Church Sacraments that we keep our soul and body sound
and blameless until the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
The Lord who calls us is faithful and He will keep His promises
[Jer. 31:31, 33; Ezek. 11:19-20; 18:31, 36:26-7] as long as we
genuinely and persistently strive to walk our living faith in
During today's Gospel Reading, [Jn. 1:6-8, 19-28]we heard that God
had sent John the Baptist as a witness to announce the coming of
the Light that is found in Jesus Christ. John the Baptist
testified that he was the voice crying in the wilderness, telling
all to prepare themselves for the coming of the Lord. Proclaiming
a baptism of repentance by water, John testified that the year of
the Lord's favour had now arrived.
John also testified that he was not worthy to untie the thong of
His sandal of the one who was coming after him. So great was the
Divine Presence of the Lord, the King of kings, that John the
Baptist felt unworthy to even untie the thong of His sandal. These
words echo the spiritual attitude that we should embrace towards
the greatness of the Lord Jesus.
My brothers and sisters in Christ, today's heavenly message through
the reading of the Holy Scriptures is one of servitude. We are
called to proclaim the year of the Lord's favour. In a few days,
Christmas Day will arrive upon us. Christmas Day is a special day
that commemorates the year of the Lord's favour.
As the Lord God commands us today through the words of the great
Prophet Isaiah in the Book of Isaiah, the words of St. Paul in the
First Letter to the Thessalonians and the words of John the Baptist
in the Gospel of John, we are to prepare ourselves to commemorate
with great joy the special year of the Lord's favour. To do so, we
must repent of our sins so that we may once more become righteous
in the eyes of the Lord at His coming. The Lord God invites each
and everyone of us to remember during the next few days to receive
the Sacrament of Reconciliation so that on Christmas Day, we may
receive the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist, the Living Bread, our
assurance of salvation through Christ. May we all prepare
ourselves accordingly so that on Christmas Day, we will all
celebrate with great joy in righteousness the year of the Lord's