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A House For The Homeless

Fourth Sunday of Advent, Year B

(2 Samuel 7:1-5, 8b-12, 14a, 16; Psalm 89:2-3, 4-5, 27, 29; Romans 16:25-27; Luke 1:26-38)

Fr. Samuel Odeh

But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God…” (John 1:12)

King David in today’s first reading had good intentions when he decided to build a more befitting home for the ark of the covenant, at the time resting in a tent in the open field, but considered the physical presence of God.  Through the prophet Nathan we learn that God had a different plan for the future.  God wanted instead to build a house for David in every sense of the word “house”.  From this house, The House of David, God gave to us the Messiah, Jesus, the Christ, whose birthday we celebrate at Christmas.  For Paul in our second reading, the security and blessings that a house gives are assured for us by our “obedience of faith” through the Gospel, which God himself will bring about in us.  In the gospel reading, God fulfills his promise of providing a house by legally appointing Joseph, the husband of Mary and a descendant of the house of David, to be a parent to Jesus.  God also provided shelter for the infant Jesus through the womb of Mary.  At Christmas, we celebrate the birth of Jesus, born of God and born of humans.

Homelessness is a good topic for our consideration especially at Christmas when some are homeless in sometimes extreme weather conditions.  Some of our brothers and sisters are estranged from their families and the church.  Others have lost their homes, lands, and livelihoods.  Some of us are troubled and unsettled in our minds.  In general, though, we all suffer from insecurities and in every sense crave all the blessings and comfort that a house represents.  “Unless the LORD builds the house, those who build it labor in vain” (Psalms 127:1).  Are we willing to change our plans so as to accommodate God’s plans for our lives, trusting that he means well for us?  The Church, the House of God, thrives, flourishes, and prospers in every sense only when she practices the obedience of faith.  Are we willing to allow the Holy Spirit to bring about in us the kind of faith that guarantees obedience to God?  Through the action of the Holy Spirit, God’s power came upon Mary and she conceived and bore Jesus in her womb, this Christmas may we also enjoy God’s favor as she did so that we also might become bearers of Christ.

And the angel said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God” (Luke 1:35)


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