Sandakan : The Sunset Eucharistic celebration, Saturday 17th December 2011, the fourth Sunday of Advent at St Mary's Cathedral was presided over by Fr Erik Jerome, a lecturer based in St Peter's College, Major Seminary for East Malaysia, Kuching, Sarawak. He is currently on vacation.
We are now in the fourth and last week in our four-week period of preparing for the celebration of the coming of Christ. The Fourth Sunday of Advent emphasize the nearness of the joyous celebration of the Nativity of Jesus Christ. The fourth and final candle in purple in the Advent wreath is lit symbolizing penance, repentance and above all love. We are all urged to prepare space in our hearts to receive Jesus for we know He is indeed coming.
The Gospel reading taken from Luke 1 : 26-38 tells us that this promise has been fulfilled in the person of Jesus Christ who was to be born of Mary of Nazareth – the unmarried maiden specially chosen by God to be the mother of the Messiah.
In his homily Fr Eric urged parishioners to emulate Mary whose deep faith in God, made her say “yes” to God’s invitation and accepted everything as the will of the Lord as in the Gospel acclamation 'I am the handmaid of the Lord, let what you have said be done to me.'
He went on to say that it is through Mary’s total submission of herself to God that the plan of salvation would be carried out. It is faith and trust in God that she was willing and eager to do God's will even though it was difficult, near impossible and costly.We are blessed to have Mary as the mother of our Savior! She has shown us how it is to be a true and genuine believer for her wish was everything be for the glory of God and that the Son she bore may be a gift of grace to all.