Homily for Second Sunday of Christmas Year B. 03-01-2021 by Fr. Lubem Robert Waya, osj.
First Reading: Ecclesiasticus 24:1-2, 8-12
Psalm: Psalm 147: 12-15, 19-20
Second Reading: Ephesians 1:3-6, 15-18
Gospel: John 1:1-18
Today being the First Sunday of the new calendar year 2021, the Church through the readings draws our attention also to the beginnings and origins of everything that exist. The first reading reminds us of God’s defining trait of Wisdom with which He uses to create all things. Of all things created man occupies a unique and vantage position as the crown of God’s creation. Being created in eternity, only man is made in the image and likeness of God and destined for life in eternity with his creator. This is made possible with the salvific work accomplished for us by Christ who is the Wisdom of God made flesh as captured in the prologue of John in the gospel reading. A reading from Ecclesiasticus today is very timely for us especially as we are just beginning a new year, for it will enable us to reflect on the importance of seeking this Wisdom of God to guide our paths in this new year. Ask yourself today, what is going to be your guiding principle in this new year? Is it the Wisdom of God or that of the world? Make up your mind to choose the Wisdom of God whose grandeur we see in our gospel reading of today.
The evangelist John’s high Christology contained in the prologue of our gospel reading today summarizes the entire salvation plan of God accomplished by Christ the Wisdom of God who became flesh; thus, revealing His origin, identity and mission in the world. In Him we are reminded of the ever and constant presence of God right from the beginning of eternity who in the beginning was that Wisdom manifested in the spoken Word with which God created the universe and all that is in it. This Word as we celebrate Him at Christmas, became flesh to come and dwell among us in human form in the person of Jesus Christ, so as to unite us to God and elevate our human nature to attain divinity. The aim of this is to accomplish the purpose of creation through the grace and truth offered us in Christ in replacement of the law given by Moses, so that we can attain salvation. Choosing to become one of us in the flesh in all things except sin, Christ opens to us a golden opportunity through which we are invited and enabled to accept and welcome Him into our lives so that we can become children of God and live forever. This acceptance requires the right use of our freedom and will to choose Christ over and above every other thing so that He can come into our lives and elevate our fallen nature and dysfunctionality into His divinity to make us one with Him in eternity. Ask yourself at this point, are you ready to choose Christ and be elevated?
As St. Paul emphasizes in our second reading, God had already chosen us and blessed us in Christ even before the world was made. He chose us to become His adopted children, an act which is accomplished today through baptism. But baptism does not complete the action of that grace of God in us meant to make us dwell with Him in eternity, except we actively co-operate with that grace. And to co-operate with that grace is to live according to the life we are called to as children of God. That is, as Paul tells us, to live holy and spotless lives through love and in the presence of God. This is how we can live the glory of God’s grace and His free gift of life to us. Are you living a holy and spotless life? Are you living a life of love? Are you living in the presence of God? If no, make haste to approach the sacrament and be reconciled to your God and to one another so that you can begin anew at this opportune time.
As we are beginning the new year, it is normal to make new year resolutions and draw up plans of action to serve as our guiding principles for the year 2021. However, all our plans will amount to nothing if they are made without the Wisdom of God. Ask yourself, what plans have you made? Is there any place for God in those plans? Did you rely on God’s Wisdom in planning or your strengths or others? Planning without God’s Wisdom is not just failing to plan but it is actually planning to fail and fail woefully. As it is incumbent on us to live holy and spotless lives through love in God’s presence, we cannot begin to plan our new year with sin, hate, discord, unforgiveness, bitterness, or any evil in our hearts. For the Wisdom of God in our hearts cannot co-exist with any evil desires. Therefore, as we begin a new year, we must expunge from our hearts all evil plans and desires so that the Wisdom of God can come and take possession of our hearts and souls and rule over our lives in this new year 2021. This is when we can say the mystery of the incarnation which took place in Mary has once again taken place but this time in us. May the Lord expel from our lives whatever is evil and inimical to His purpose for us and instill in us the light of His Divine Wisdom to guide our paths in this new year according to His purpose. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.