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Bishop's Homily for the Third Sunday in Advent

December 12, 2021

[St. John the Baptist Church, Kalihi (with Commemoration of Our Lady of Guadalupe)]

Before this Mass, we participated in a serenade to the Virgin of Guadalupe, and we all sang with much gusto and joy to honor our heavenly Mother.  However, I am sure that some among us have broken hearts because a loved one has recently died.  Others are very worried because they do not have sufficient work to sustain their families.  Others have the great burden of sins they have committed, and they are very conscious of the darkness in their souls.  In spite of all this, we raised our voices to praise God and his most holy Mother, Our Lady of Guadalupe.  We put aside our sorrows and sufferings to offer our devotion to the Mother who has so much devotion toward us.

But the prophet Isaiah says something very curious: “The Lord, your God, is in your midst, your mighty savior; he will rejoice over you with gladness, and renew you in his love; he will sing joyfully because of you, as one sings at festivals.”  How can it be that God, who knows all our sins and all our anxieties, lifts his voice to celebrate us?  If we reflect on this reality, it can move us to tears of joy and love, because God loves us so much that he sings in jubilation for each one of us.

God has been singing like this for centuries, and it is for us to open our ears to hear the lyrics and the melody of his divine songs.  He has sent us prophets and kings, such as Isaiah and David, so that he might sing with their voices.  He sent us John the Baptist to sing a song of repentance so that he can tune our lives to be in harmony with the divine song.  To each type of person – tax collectors, soldiers, housewives, professors, cleaners, lawyers and clerics – John the Baptist sings his “Kyrie eleison” to cleanse us of the discords of sin and to tune our souls to praise God.  God sings through the evangelists to also tune our minds and our hearts to hear his divine song through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus, our Lord.

Today we recall that the Virgin of Guadalupe has been the voice of our singing God, so that, through her, God can sing to us of his love, compassion, help and protection.  She is full of the celestial melody of grace, so that with the voice of her sacred image, God can continue singing with jubilation to strengthen his beloved people.  She is the song of Advent, because she sings of the God who has already come to save us in the person of Jesus Christ, her Son; and as a pregnant woman, she sings of the hope of the second coming of Christ to redeem us definitively.

But when we hear these divine songs that the true and living God sings to us with so much jubilation, we are inspired to be the heavenly melodies that can calm anxieties and conflicts in the world.  God invites us to a communion so intimate with him that he enters our hearts and our bodies in the sacred Eucharist to tune our souls to participate more intimately in the chorus of his love and compassion.

In this world, with so much dissonance and noise, with so many conflicts and wars, and with so many sufferings, only the divine song can change hearts.  Today we recall that God sings to us with many voices and various melodies.  We remember his beautiful song of the Virgin of Guadalupe, and above all the song she came to announce with so much love and devotion:  the song in which the melody of God himself is married to lyrics of our humanity, so that Christ, Son of God and Son of Mary, may always be the jubilant song that God sings to his people.