4th Sunday of Advent, Year C

Sunday, December 23, 2018
Fr. Kyle
Homily transcription: 

You are not enough.  You are deficient.  You are inadequate.  Talk about an uplifting message just before Christmas, huh?  But we must not forget that God does pretty amazing things with nothingness; with deficiency and inadequacy. 

In the first reading the prophet Micah tells us that Bethlehem was not big enough to even be among the clans of Judah, yet it would be the birthplace of the Messiah.  The gospel speaks of Elizabeth who was not young enough to bear a child and yet she gave birth to one of the greatest prophets. We hear of Mary who was just a teenage girl from an average family and she would become the Mother of God.  Over and over and over again God uses deficiency, inadequacy and takes what is not enough and brings greatness from it.  This is a beautiful paradox because, once we finally accept this reality, then we begin to see that maybe we don’t need to be “enough”.

It seems like our culture suggests that, in order to be happy, we need to be self-sufficient, independent and prove our worth.  And when we fail to meet these standards, we are shackled by feelings of not being enough; of being deficient or inadequate.  But the readings today remind us that we do not need to be successful in order to achive greatness.  As philosopher Jean Vanier puts it, “God does not call us to do extraordinary things, but to so ordinary things with extraordinary love.”

So how does it feel to not be enough?  How does it feel to be deficient and inadequate?  It might seem like a paradox, but we should feel pretty good that we are not enough.  We should feel good about our deficiency and inadequacy.  Because God has a tendency to take nothingness and turn it into greatness.