Emmanuel – God with us – Homily by Fr Christopher Nnubia
Today is the 4th Sunday of advent. This advent journey started 4 weeks ago with the first Sunday of advent telling us of the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Then the following Sunday when we were told about his coming. Last Sunday, we were told to rejoice because the coming of Jesus is near. In the gospel reading, John asked if Christ was the Messiah or if he should expect another Messiah. Christ replied by asking the messengers to tell John the good news that blind can see, lame walk, etc.
Today we are presented with the gospel telling us Emmanuel – God with us. This prophecy was made long ago during the time of Isaiah. We are told in the first reading about King Ahaz, the king of Judea, who faced challenges from the King of Syria and the King of Israel. Ahaz was terrified and it was at the point of fear that Isaiah was told by God to ask Ahaz for a sign. He said he would not put the Lord to the test and would not ask for a sign. Isaiah told him that the Lord has a sign for him. He told him there would be a virgin who shall give birth and shall be called Emmanuel. The gospel reading is the fulfilment of the prophecy if Isaiah.
As we prepare to celebrate the coming of Christ, what are you afraid of? Are you afraid of the food you do not have to eat or the cloth you do not have to wear? Worry not. It is the birth of Christ. The psalmist says something remarkable. It says, let the Lord enter, he is the King of glory. Are we actually ready to let the King enter into our heart? God can be with us without us allowing Him to enter into our lives and family. We have a few days to Christmas. How have we prepared to allow Emmanuel to calm our situation?
We are told in the gospel that even Joseph was afraid but a message came from an Angel in a dream and told Joseph to be calm. It is hardly written that Joseph uttered a word but he did as the Angel told him. If we were the ones, what would we do? We need the spirit of discernment in order to discern between the voice of God and that of the Devil. May we like Joseph allow God to enter into our hearts. Above all, may the good Lord bless His words in our hearts both now and forevermore. Amen.