Homilies | Father Nathan

St Gabriel Catholic Church | Pompano Beach
God Bless You All

Father Nathan Homily | December 20, 2020

“Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus.

He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father, and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.”

— Luke 1:31-37 

4th Sunday of Advent

Today’s Readings:

First Reading2 SM 7:1-5, 8B-12, 14A, 16

Responsorial PsalmPS 89:2-3, 4-5, 27, 29

For ever I will sing the goodness of the Lord.

Second ReadingROM 16:25-27

Gospel ReadingLK 1:26-38

 

Father Nathan | Homily

Fourth Sunday of Advent

In the Gospel reading of today, Mary, faced with impossibilities that are made possible. It was indeed an emotionally distressing, life-threatening, and anxiety-stricken visitation and experience for Mary.

Mary – A teenage girl, pregnant and unwed.

Mary was only a teenage virgin girl engaged and betrothed to be married. She had never been with a man – even the man she was about to marry; yet she recognized the new challenges that would emerge in her betrothal and the crisis into which this pregnancy could throw both families, leading to her shame and execution according to the Jewish customs ( Dt 22:13-21 and Nm 5:11-31);

In spite of all that, she resigned all her worries and anxiety to the total will of God, who alone can make the impossible, possible (Lk 1:37) with an amazing “YES” that perfects the will of God.

The 7 Announcements to Mary in today’s Gospel

In today’s gospel, the Angel Gabriel surprises Mary with seven announcements and they’re summarized thus;

  1. Even as a virgin betrothed to Joseph, she would become a mother.
  2. She would become a mother through the Holy Spirit, in Angel Gabriel’s very own words; _“the Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the Power of the Most High will overshadow you.”
  3. The angel continues, _“Therefore, the Child to be born will be called Holy, the Son of God.”
  4. She is to _“name the child Jesus,”_ which means Savior.
  5. God will make Him a King and a descendant in the line of David.
  6. “He will rule over the House of Jacob forever, and of His Kingdom, there will be no end.”
  7. As a Divine sign, Elizabeth, Mary’s aged barren cousin is six months pregnant, “for,” says Gabriel, _“nothing shall be impossible with God!”_

 

“nothing shall be impossible with God!”

Mary reacted to these seven surprises with a simple and indeed some surprising gestures, namely: “a wholehearted and totally unconditional “Yes” – (Fiat) _

”Let it be done in me according to your words.”_

 

LIFE MESSAGES* Learning to Say “Yes”

Mary’s unreserved and uncompromising “YES” (Fiat) in her conversation with the angel Gabriel became fruitful through the following gestures which we should imbibe in our Advent preparations:

(1) MARY LISTENS AND PRAYS
(2) MARY BELIEVES
(3) MARY OBEYS

 

(1) MARY LISTENS AND PRAYS*

God, as of the days of Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden (Gen 3:8), still speaks to us every second and every minute in various ways, but oftentimes, we might form too busy to pay attention and hear God speak to us. Paul VI says of silence, _”Of all human activities, man’s listening to God is the supreme act of his reasoning and will.”_

Mary’s greatness and trans-generational blessings were perfected by her great virtue of listening. Furthermore, Mary’s Fiat was never sealed in a market, noisy, or distracting environment. Perhaps, it is a product of prayerful disposition and one-on-one encounter with God, because,

“Silence is the beginning of prayer”, says Mother Teresa.

So, this great virtue of listening took place at prayer.

We hardly hear God when:

(a) We have fear for silence and prayers
(b) We are ignorant of the scriptures
(c) We indulge in immorality
(d) We indulge in inappropriate and amoral movies, literature, music and pictures
(e) We gossip and keep unfriendly relationships.

May we learn from Mary today, how to prayerfully listen to God and our environment.

(2) MARY BELIEVES*

The unflinching faith of Mary was outstanding in consolidating her key role in the work of Salvation. She had great convictions that the righteous cannot please God with unbelief (Heb 11:6). She was humble in faith that she first believes and only then reasons upon that to which she had already acceded to,

“Let it be done to me according to your word”

Even her kinswoman, Elizabeth’s conception, “Know that Elizabeth your kinswoman has conceived a son in her old age; she who was thought to be sterile is now in her sixth month, for nothing is impossible with God,” (vv. 36-37, was accorded a great “YES” (Fiat) gesture, despite Elizabeth’s slim and impossible state of conceiving at old ago.

We hereby adopt like Mary, the admonitions of St Paul in the second reading to totally believe and trust in God’s plans and revealed mysteries in Christ Jesus.

3. MARY OBEYS*

The scriptural injunction, _”obedience is better than sacrifice”_ (1Sam 15:22), was perfectly actualized in the life of Mary. For St Augustine, “Obedience is in a way the mother of all virtues.”

Mary’s obedience is risk-taking when she says, “Let it be done to me according to your word,” (v. 38). Her obedience is loving. She loves God and hence trusts in Him and obeys.

She kept on saying, ‘YES’ to God, even when it pains until the end of her earthly life to be the Mother of God. Our God loves and values obedience, that is why Mary’s Fiat was rewarded with “overshadowing” of the Holy Spirit, whereas, Adams’s and Saul’s disobedience brought the departure of God’s presence in their lives (Ge. 3:6; 1 Sam 16:14).

Beloved, we Christians must believe that our divine Master knows what is best for us, and obey his commands, and in due time we will know and understand. Mary understood this and obeyed God in all humility with her unequivocal “YES.”

MAY GOD HELP US TO ALWAYS SAY “YES” (FIAT), IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF OUR BLESSED MOTHER MARY TOWARDS PERFECTING GOD’S PLANS IN OUR LIFE. AMEN!

*GOD BLESS YOU AND HAPPY SUNDAY!*

Have a Blessed Week,

Fr. Nathan

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Past Messages from Father Nathan

Special Message from Father Nathan | January 24, 2021

Special Message from Father Nathan | January 24, 2021

Thank you for your kindness, love, support and above all your valuable prayers. To me, as like all of you, family means a lot to me. We are united ONLY WITH LOVE. I always feel the LOVE VIBRATION in my family. I feel so BLESSED about my family as I feel with you all.

read more
From The Desk Of Father Nathan | January 24, 2021

From The Desk Of Father Nathan | January 24, 2021

Together, We Are the Church. A universal body of believers, delivering God’s message of hope and love to everyone, everywhere. Your generosity to the Archbishop’s Charity and Development Drive, ABCD, serves the Church so that the Church can serve you.

read more
From The Desk Of Father Nathan | January 17, 2021

From The Desk Of Father Nathan | January 17, 2021

Together, We Are the Church. A universal body of believers, delivering God’s message of hope and love to everyone, everywhere. Your generosity to the Archbishop’s Charity and Development Drive, ABCD, serves the Church so that the Church can serve you.

read more
From The Desk Of Father Nathan | January 10, 2021

From The Desk Of Father Nathan | January 10, 2021

Together, We Are the Church. A universal body of believers, delivering God’s message of hope and love to everyone, everywhere. Your generosity to the Archbishop’s Charity and Development Drive, ABCD, serves the Church so that the Church can serve you.

read more
From The Desk Of Father Nathan | January 3, 2021

From The Desk Of Father Nathan | January 3, 2021

Happy New Year. Goodbye, 2020. Hello, 2021. We have all experienced a most unusual year. Our lives have had to adjust to never-ending uncertainties that shake our personal and public lives. We have witnessed a shutdown in our thoughts and actions all over the world…

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From The Desk Of Father Nathan | December 20, 2020

From The Desk Of Father Nathan | December 20, 2020

Merry Christmas to You! “JOY TO THE WORLD” Fourth Advent of Sunday. In this season…when the people were all tired, worried, concerned, and waiting with lots of perplexities, the Lord incarnated Himself and opened up a new world of love to His people.

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