Learning To Trust And Obey
December 17, 2023
Readings: Isaiah 65: 17-25
1 Thessalonians 5:16-28
John 1:6-8, 19-28
3rd Sunday of Advent 2023 Homily
In Today’s Gospel, there are very important passages we need to know, which are powerful messages for us in the lives we live in these present times. In the world now, little by little, there is a scheme trying to make man weak and to become lazy. There are so many modern amenities and gadgets that help us do all the work for us that we need not even do things by ourselves anymore. John 1:1 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” Everything came from God. John was addressing the agnostics regarding this truth about God. In the Jewish background, a word was not merely spoken for the purpose of communication. It was a statement. When a word was spoken, it was not just a mere sound, it was carried out. In early Judaism, there were only 10,000 words in their vocabulary. Nowadays, words have become more complicated. As the years went by, many changes were made, from the Hebrew to Aramaic, to Greek.
In the Garden, God spoke to Adam and gave Him specific instructions not to eat from one particular tree. But we all know that Satan deceived them by twisting God’s Word in reasoning with them. He used words to entice them and cause them to doubt God’s word and to do the exact opposite, which led to their fall. We have come to a point today that we read the scriptures but do not really understand the meaning. We still depend on others to teach us. We are a people who talk a lot but do not do what we promise. If God has strengthened us, shouldn’t we be proclaiming strength? John was sent by God to bring hope to the people. This should be a wake-up call for us. Psalm 33:6 “By the word of the LORD the heavens were made, their starry host by the breath of his mouth.” Psalm 107:20 “He sent forth His word and healed them; He rescued them from the Pit.” Isaiah 55:11 “so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.”
The reason why we are weak in our faith is because we have lost our trust and we do not believe. John in this Gospel wants us to understand the power of the Word from the very beginning. God is faithful. He is consistent. He does not change. He can be trusted. He will sustain us. He will follow through with what He has established from the very beginning. God just spoke the Word and everything happened. Revelation 19:15 “And from His mouth proceeds a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and He will rule them with an iron scepter. He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty.” Proverbs 3:19 “By wisdom the LORD laid the earth’s foundations, by understanding he set the heavens in place.”
John the Baptist was doing his ministry because the religious leaders at that time were not doing their job. So the multitude would rather hear him preach in the wilderness rather then going to the synagogue to listen to the religious leaders. They sent men to confront John by asking who he was. Was he Elijah? Was he a prophet? Who was he? John’s response was, “I am a voice crying out in the wilderness, preparing the way of the Lord.” And he spoke with power. In our lives today when we speak, do we expect things to happen? Are we bold enough to believe our words will be manifested? John is telling us to prepare the way of the Lord.
The Lord will come back to a glorious church, not one which is weak. We should dump the things which are unnecessary, straighten our lives and make straight the path. Psalm 56:3 “When I am afraid, I put my trust in You.” John baptized with water. But the One who comes after him baptizes with the Holy Spirit. Our commitment is to trust the Lord. Trust and Obey. For there’s no other way.