Homily for 12/22/19
Fr Carlos Rodriguez
T’is a wonderful season – this Advent. We are waiting for a God who is Almighty and Creator of all there is, and He will come as a babe…He would not give up on us human beings who have transgressed his law innumerable times. He gave hope to his people through all the calamities they have experienced as a people giving them solace by the assuring words of prophets that He promised to send a Savior. Little did his people know and for that matter even us that God would bring about His saving plan playing brinkmanship, so to speak, by putting the feasibility of His magnificent plan for all of humankind upon the assent of two people: one a virgin named Mary and the other to whom the virgin was betrothed, a man named Joseph. Except for the prophets, Scriptures has made it known that His beloved chosen ones who were to carry out His his saving plan for His people failed Him miserably: Saul, David, Solomon the so called wiseman and the countless subsequent kings who ruled in His name were dismally inept at representing Him. Yet, God did not waver in His confidence and trust in human beings, that they will come up to His expectation. He was almost at awe with his puny creation like, he had a kind of Divine Naivete.
In Mary and Joseph his trust and confidence on the goodness of human beings were vindicated. The assent of Mary and Joseph to the mystery happening in their lives has been unequalled. In them God’s loving saving plan is now in place. What is left was its unfolding in the lives of this couple and the Birth of a Son who is from God and who is God. Again the ineffable God involves humans in the divine life: the Father sent the Son and the Virgin conceived by the Holy Spirit. He would never let us go away from that trinitarian circle of love. And this is the beauty of it all. Mary & Joseph did not have an advantage that we have of the true interpretation of Scriptures, lessons of absolute truth about God, the correct understanding of all the prophecies or guidelines of proper behavior in life. They took tremendous risks, at the expense of possibly losing their sanity, the ire of the people around them and the strict demands of their culture and temple. God spoke to them in the most gentle manner, almost a suggestion; in a dream in the case of Joseph and the appearance of the angel which brought fright to the young maiden. Everything happened at the core of their being for that is where God is heard most clearly… not in the clarity of the mind. Besides what mind is clear when facing a mystery. Mystery stuns the mind but it enlarges the heart to receive and understand God. After the messages were given, there were no instructions given to them as to what to do. They waited for God’s voice or messengers and prepared themselves to listen and obey. So they lived an ordinary, hidden life in a village and waited for the voice of God within. They heard it several times more and then God was silent. Scriptures spoke little of Mary and Joseph. Yet something did change in their lives. They lived a celibate life. It is a bit strange to speak of celibacy at this point. No, this is not the canonical celibacy, this is not a religious vow not even a way of giving up something for the sake of God. No, this is a celibacy that flowed from their encounter with God in the inner core of their being. They were in communion with the Father through their Son and the Holy Spirit. They were in other words evangelized by the words of God through the angel. Their three levels of consciousness, the superego, the ego and the libido where all superfluous for they found themselves in God’s life which made all desires apart from God superfluous. Advent is the time to get in touch with our inner being; its deeper than mind and thought, it’s deeper than heart and feeling. It’s the only place in us where if want to hear God speak it is there where we should wait. It is not even praying, for oftentimes our prayer even blocks God from showing us His gift of love, namely, His divine life, his love which makes us lack nothing else. He wants to give us gifts and the greatest gift to us His son on Christmas day. We wait deeply in faith suspending all understanding through the mind and receiving the wonderful message as pure gift. Mystery befits mystery. The greatest human mystery is that place in our being where only God may enter.