Hope in God’s promises
First Sunday of Advent CycleC
[Jer 33:14-16; 1 Thess 3:12-4:2; Lk 21:25-28, 34-36]
History of salvation has been very dynamic. It has moved forward with a promise and the consequent hope, and the fulfillment of the promise.
Today we begin the season of advent. The reminder of the greatest promise in the history of salvation - The promise of a Saviour.
A glance through the history Salvation takes us back to the Paradise. Out of the infinite plan of God was born the mysterious world and its master, the man. God’s promises begin from there. The first man was promised a partner “EVE”. Abraham was given the promise of uncountable descendants. The Israelites in
In today’s first reading Prophet Jeremiah reminds the people about the great promise of God, the promise of a virtuous man from the house of David, who will bring honesty and integrity to the land and liberation to the house of David. In the second reading St Paul reminds us to continue the blameless life initiated by Jesus, so that we will be ready for the second advent , the Glorious coming of Jesus, which is the theme of Today’s Gospel. The Gospel proclaims the promise of Jesus, the coming of the Son of Man in all His glory.
The season of Advent helps us to recall the promise of a righteous man to establish integrity and honesty, as prophesied by prophet Jeremiah, the fulfillment of this promise in the person of Jesus, and prepares us for the second coming of Jesus.
The factors that lead our fore fathers were faith in the promise of God, and hope in its fulfillment. Israelites’ hope helped them to cross deserts and Traverse Mountains. Abraham’s hope made him the father of a great race. Joab’s hope strengthened him to suffer his misfortunes. The hope of early Christians gave them courage to withstand persecution.
Dear brothers and sisters, it is hope that lead us also forward. Keats wrote “heard melodies are sweet, those unheard are sweeter.” Our hope and the pleasant waiting for something make our lives too sweeter.
When we are beset with the contemporary problems of injustice, inhuman misery, hunger and poverty it is our “hope” - hope in the promise of prophets, hope in the promise of Jesus, hope in the coming of Jesus into our lives that should lead us forward.
O Henry’s story the “Last Leaf” brings out the significance of hope.
The story begins as Johnsy, near death from pneumonia, lies in bed waiting for the last leaf of an ivy vine on the brick wall she spies through her window to fall. She counted the falling of all leaves. Now only the last one is left. She is sure that that she will die as the last leaf falls.
The night witnessed torrential rain and powerful storm. Morning Johnsy looked out of the window before breathing her last. But to her surprise she saw that the last leaf survived the rain and wind. It stuck to the vine. She began to show signs of improvement and recovered in a few days.
An artist who lived below her apartment understood the thought of Johnsy. That night he went out with his set of brush and paint. The last leaf was the creation of Behrman. Outside Johnsy’s window were a ladder, a lantern still lighted "some scattered brushes, and a palette with green and yellow colors mixed on it . . . it was Behrman’s masterpiece--he painted it [a leaf] there the night that the last leaf fell."
The sight of the last leaf rekindled the hope of Johnsy. And she survived.
Dear friends, The wisdom of our forefathers reminds us that “every cloud has a silver lining”, every night is followed by a bright day. At the end of every sorrow there some joy awaiting us. I recall the words of Shelley, “If winter comes can spring be far behind?”
I conclude with the words of