FOURTH SUNDAY OF ADVENT B2

THEME: LET US SURRENDER TO GOD’S WILL

Last Sunday, God advised us to rejoice always, because the Lord is coming to save us. In today’s readings, God reveals to us the requirement for rejoicing forever. We have to surrender to his plans for our salvation. Mother Angelica who used to broadcast on EWTN said it more impressively: “When you are dealing with God, get out of the way!”

Children understand that to keep out of trouble they have to do what their parents or teachers or guardians tell them to do. But many of us adults want to handle our lives in our own way. We spend time figuring out plans for our lives, instead of seeking God’s plans for us, as if God created us without plans for our lives. At times we may be lucky that what we figure out coincides with God’s plan for us. Then we enjoy happiness. But many times we work against God’s plans and end in confusion and despair. Consider a couple that tries to handle their marriage in their own way, without consulting the Bible to find out how God the creator of marriage wants them to manage it. Such couples often end in divorce.

Today’s second reading, from Romans 16:25-27, shows that God kept his plan (mystery) for our salvation secret for long ages. At last he revealed it so that it may be obeyed.

In the first reading from second Samuel chapter seven, King David of Israel, who had defeated his enemies and built a beautiful palace for himself, felt troubled for two reasons: One: His sons were competing for his throne. He feared that after him his kingdom would disintegrate. Second: He felt remorse for not building a house for God. So, he planned to build one for him. But God rejected his plan and promised to build an everlasting house for himself. And he assured David that from his descendants he would raise a heir whose kingdom would last forever.

I am sure that David did not understand what God promised. All the same, from verse 18 of the same chapter up to its end, David surrendered to God’s plan and eventually rested peacefully. Most probably, none of the Israelites knew that God chose them so that, through them, he could create an everlasting kingdom (the Church) with an everlasting king (Jesus).

In the gospel text from Luke 1:26-38, we see the beginning of the fulfilment of God’s promise to King David. The Angel Gabriel announces to Mary that the son she will conceive will be given the throne of David and he will rule forever. Since Joseph, a descent of David, adopted Jesus by naming him (Mt 1:25), Jesus became a legal descent of David, at par with a biological descendant, with the right to sit on the throne of his ancestor David.

I do not think that Mary understood what the Angel said to her, but she surrendered to the will of God, by giving the YES that God and the entire world were waiting for. Hence Mary was elevated to rejoice in heaven as Queen of heaven and earth.

Jesus himself surrendered to the will of his Father through suffering, death and resurrection. Therefore, he was reglorified in heaven as the everlasting king of the promised house of God, the Church. The kingdom (Church) he established on earth is now about two thousand years old, beating all the other kingdoms that have ever been established, in age and size (over two billion subjects on earth in addition to those who are already in heaven and purgatory). If Jesus had not surrendered to his Father, most probably there would be no Church and no sacraments, including Holy Mass. We would have missed the chance of rejoicing with him forever in heave.

All this teaches us the importance of surrendering to God. Let us always surrender to his will, because his will is to save us.