Monday, December 22, 2014

Homily for December 22

The Great Days of Advent
December 22, 2014
Provincial House, New Rochelle

Every collect in the missal includes 3 elements: acknowledgment of some attribute of or benefit received from God; a plea for divine assistance or favor in some form; and the invocation of Trinity.

Today’s collect acknowledges God’s willing to redeem the fallen human race thru the incarnation of the Father’s only-begotten Son.  We pay tribute to God’s beneficence and imply that his goodness is effective:  he accomplishes what he wills thru the means that he chooses.  That’s our reason for praising him today; our reason for giving him thanks today.

Then we pray that we who believe humbly may merit to have the Son as our Redeemer; that we may walk in his company; that the Incarnation and Redemption will in fact be effective in our particular cases and not merely in the case of the fallen human race in general.

The Annunciation
Domenico Beccafumi (1486-1551)
Our humble prayer and our humble faith echoes the prayer and faith of the Virgin Mary (Luke 1:46-56).  She calls herself the Lord’s lowly servant and acknowledges that it is the Lord who saves the lowly.  The Lord has not only made a promise to Abraham, but he has acted on his promise, generation after generation right up to his intervention in Mary’s life.  In humility she has acquiesced in that intervention—assuredly without understanding its implications, but trusting him completely.

That trust is the only way that we can “merit” to have her Son keep company with us as our Redeemer—the trust that Mary had opened the door for the Son’s incarnation, and for us it opens the door for the Lord Jesus to enter our lives, direct them, and lead us from fallenness to eternal life.

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