December 22, 2019 – 4th Sunday of Advent
Click here for the readings http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/122219.cfm
Homily by Fr. Mar Masangcay, CSsR, a Filipino Redemptorist based in South Korea.
Aside from the sin of disobedience, what is other sin committed by Adam and Eve? Many of us would think that by eating the forbidden fruit, Adam and Eve have just committed the sin of disobedience to God. However, our first parents were also guilty of the sin of irresponsibility – for not taking responsibility for their action. When God asked about eating the fruit, Adam blamed Eve; and then, Eve blamed the serpent. Instead of claiming responsibility for their own actions, they blame each other and others, other than themselves; and because of this, sinfulness bound and begins to exist in their lives and our lives as well.
This is very true with our experiences in life. Whenever we start not to take responsibility for our actions, try to run away from our responsibilities and start to blame others than ourselves, trouble, chaos and suffering is always present. But when we become responsible for ourselves and take full responsibility for one’s action, blessings, chances and mercies prevail.
Today, we hear the annunciation of Jesus as experienced by Joseph. After Mary has taken the responsibility to be the mother of the son of God, Jesus, here now Joseph was invited to be the father of the child. Our gospel tells us how difficult it must be for Joseph to decide to accept the task of becoming a father to the child. Joseph was in a situation where Mary, his girlfriend is pregnant – “before they lived together, she was found with child.” But he knew that the child was not his. Why should he father a child whom is not of his blood? Would he let the child carry his name? Surely a dilemma for Joseph. It would be reasonable for him to deny and leave Mary and the child. But having heard God’s challenge and assurance, like Mary, Joseph accepted the responsibility, and as father to Jesus, he did his task in taking care and bringing up the word of God incarnated – becoming flesh – in our lives.
The story of our Christian life started when God offers us a Present, a Gift of His only begotten son, Jesus. God’s priceless and most important gift to us is Jesus, the word of God made flesh. But Jesus is also our Responsibility. Accepting Him, as God’s gift requires big responsibility. Since God’s gift came as a child, Jesus needs human parents. Jesus needs a mother and father. Mary consented to be his mother and Joseph agreed to be his father. By taking responsibility for the child Jesus, they become parents to God’s gift, which eventually brings change and difference in their lives and our lives as well.
Like, Joseph and Mary, we are also invited to take responsibility for Jesus in our lives. It is only by our acceptance of both the gift and responsibility of God’s gift to us; God’s redemption flourishes and continues to renew our lives. It is only by our being sponsors, benefactors, or poster parent to life and mission of Jesus in our lives, that God’s salvation continue to be present in our life today. Taking this responsibility entails us not only our sacrifice but moreso our total commitment.
Which reminds me of about the hen and the pig. A hen and pig wish to please their caretaker. When the hen suggested that they will treat their caretaker a breakfast of “bacon and egg”, the pig argued: “Bacon and Egg” for you, might be a great sacrifice but for me, it’s a total commitment.
We, Christian should then be committed to our responsibility and mission of making Jesus present and alive in our lives today.
As Christmas draws near, may we become more responsible parent, sponsor, benefactor of Jesus, God’s son, in our lives now and forever. Amen.