Jesus christ is king and messiah...and he has come to be sacrificed for our sins to reconcile us to his father
Homily for the Fourth Sunday of Advent ©, December 23, 2018:
Rdgs: Michah 5:1-4; Psalm 80; Hebrews 10:5-10; Luke 1:39-45
By: Fr. Scott Karnik
The Scripture readings this Advent tell us much about Jesus Christ and our need for Him. The readings from each of the Advent Sundays tell us that Jesus is coming again at the end of time to judge us and to take those who love Him into Heaven. Jesus is also came two thousand years ago to reconcile us with God His Father because God the Father wanted this reconciliation. Jesus is near, in our midst, so rejoice. And today’s readings tell us that Jesus Christ is the eternal King of Israel and the long-awaited Messiah. Today’s readings also tell us that Jesus, King and Messiah, will be sacrificed. He will be crucified to forgive our sins. In order to do that, Jesus must be divine, God’s Own Son, no one else’s. He has NO EARTHLY FATHER.
The first point from today’s readings comes from the Prophet Micah. Micah emphasizes that the Messiah, the newborn King of the Jews, will come from Bethlehem. He will not come from Jerusalem. Micah believes in Israel’s monarchy. But he also knows that this Davidic line, born in Jerusalem, is hopelessly corrupt and sinful. So this Messiah will come from little, humble, invisible Bethlehem. Bethlehem is the birthplace of King David. God has promised King David that a son of his, the fruit of his body, will rule on his throne forever. God’s prophecy through Micah says this king and messiah will appear in the future, not in Micah’s time. The origin of this messiah and king “is from of old, from ancient times”(Micah 5:2). The prophecy does not mention the messiah’s and king’s father. His origin is mysterious. His origin is from God Himself. No one on earth has fathered Him, He is only from King David’s lineage. We know that God will tell St. Joseph to marry the Blessed Virgin Mary and adopt the child she is carrying into David’s royal lineage. St. Joseph is the last man in David’s biological line. But Micah’s prophecy does mention a woman, the child’s mother. “…when she who is to give birth has borne,…”(Micah 5:3). The Scripture commentary I looked at says that the major prophecies of redemption mention a woman who gives birth. They include Genesis 3:15, Micah 5:3, and Isaiah 7:14, just to name a few. One of the points from today’s readings is that this Jesus is the King of Israel and Messiah. He comes from Bethlehem, not from the corrupt, sinful royalty in Jerusalem. Jesus is borne of a woman but His origin is from ancient times.
The second point comes from today’s second reading from the Letter to the Hebrews. Jesus the Messiah and King comes to earth to obey His Father’s will. His Father’s will is that Jesus sacrifices His Body on the Cross to forgive our sins, to make a new covenant with mankind, and give mankind full entitlement to enter heaven as adopted sons and daughters of God the Father, brothers and sisters of Jesus Himself. It is necessary for this Messiah/King to be divine in order to accomplish all this. This is God the Father’s will because He (and Jesus Christ) love us so much. God the Father and Jesus want to bring us to our true home, heaven, not here. To do this requires reconciliation and this reconciliation requires the sacrifice of the Messiah/King who is divine. Hebrews quotes Jesus saying of God His Father that “Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but a body you prepared for me; in holocausts and sin offerings you took now delight”(Heb 10:5-6). “Then I said, ‘As is written of me in the scroll, behold, I come to do your will, Oh God”(Heb 10:7). God the Father prepared this body for His Son, in order to obey the Father’s will. The reason Jesus will do this is said in the Creed. We will declare and pray after this homily “For us men and for our salvation, He came down from heaven.” This reading from Hebrews is a description of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. It is Jesus’s way of making His Once-and-for-all Sacrifice present and real to us today. His Eternal Sacrifice becomes real for us who live in space and time through the Holy Mass. Jesus says “Do this in memory of me”(Luke 22:19).
The third point is that this body that the Father prepared for Jesus comes from the Blessed Virgin Mary. She “…is to give birth…”(Micah 5:3). St. Elizabeth declares of Mary: “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb”(Luke 1:42). Mary is miraculously pregnant through the Holy Spirit. Her virginity is intact. She is “blessed…among women”(Luke 1:42) because she is immaculately conceived without original sin so that Jesus can be conceived without original sin. St. Elizabeth says “…and blessed is the fruit of your womb”(Luke 1:42). Jesus proceeds from Mary alone. The Holy Spirit conceives Jesus in Mary’s womb. Jesus is divine, from God His Father. Jesus is human from the Blessed Virgin Mary alone, with no earthly, biological father.
This is who Jesus Christ is. This is what Jesus did. This is important because God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ love us. So God sends His Son to us to forgive our sins and return us to Him as adopted sons and daughters through Jesus’s once-and-for-all sacrifice. We will die someday. When that happens, Jesus will judge us justly. Our lot will be heaven or hell. Jesus obeys His Father’s will and sacrifices Himself to open wide the gates of Heaven to mankind below. All of this starts and ends with Jesus Christ, Son of God and Son of Mary. All of this starts when we celebrate Jesus’s birthday this week. Praised be Jesus Christ, now and forever.
February 12, 2017
October 23, 2016
October 2, 2016