Here is an excerpt from my homily for tomorrow. The full text can be viewed here.
Today it is we who yearn for deliverance. It is we who long to enjoy the Promised Land of Heaven. Christ has promised to come again as our Judge and to deliver the faithful from all their afflictions. Like the Old Testament believers we are eager to see God’s salvation, for we too are oppressed. The unbelieving world grows more hostile by the minute towards the followers of Christ. Satan prowls around like a roaring lion eager to devour the faith of Christians and to tear our hope away from us. Our own sinful flesh vexes us daily with unholy impulses and desires. And we have acted on them. We are eager to be free of its mastery forever. We long to be free of our addictions, our bad habits, and our unceasing inclination to break the commandments of God. We are especially aware of our failing and shortcomings at this time of the year. ‘Tis the season to be self-indulgent; ‘tis the season to make every provision for the flesh to gratify its desires, to be dissatisfied with our situation in life and angry at everyone else for not living up to our expectations. ‘Tis the season to put our trust in the “holidays” rather than in the One who was born for us.
So we too pray with a sense of urgency: “Stir up your power, O Lord, and come to save us.” Stir up your power, and come to rescue us from our sins; come to deliver us from our addictions, our sicknesses, our weaknesses, and the death that we feel in our own bodies. Come and rescue us from our sinful nature which continually seeks to enslave us anew. Come to us and bring us in safety to the blessed Land of heaven, where you dwell with all your saints and angels. For there we know that we shall be safe. “Judah will be saved, and Israel will dwell securely.” Only then will we know full and perfect peace. For the Lord is a gracious and just king. His name is called “The Lord is our Righteousness,” for He acted on our behalf on the cross, suffering the penalty that our unrighteousness deserved. These prayers, I am happy to say, will not go unheard. They have not gone unanswered. For the days are coming, when Christ our Lord will return. He comes with salvation and deliverance, with grace and mercy, with love and peace to all the faithful.