My dear brothers and sisters in Jesus Christ welcome to this third final advent reflection for the year two thousand eighteen.

Maranatha! Come Lord Jesus is a constant refrain of the season of advent. With this prayer, we prayerfully await the advent of the Messiah. Well dear friends, we make the right prayer. But are we really serious about the prayer. Do we believe that our prayer is going to be answered? Are we sure that we want our prayers to be heard and answered? Do we really want Christ the Lord to come into our life? Probably, we might be the ones most surprised if Jesus were to answer our prayers.

A poem and a story that I came across some time ago, I thought could help us to reflect on how we need to prayerfully wait for the coming of the Lord at Christmas.

Let us begin with the poem. The poem has the title, “If Jesus were to come to your House Today.” The poem is credited to Lois Blanchard Eades.

If Jesus came to your house to spend a day or two –

If He came unexpectedly, I wonder what you’d do.

Oh, I know you’d give your nicest room to such an honoured Guest,

And all the food you’d serve to Him would be the very best,

And you would keep assuring Him you’re glad to have him there –

That serving Him in your own home is joy beyond compare.

But when you saw Him coming, would you meet Him at the door

With arms outstretched in welcome to your heavenly Visitor?

Or would you have to change your clothes before you let Him in?

Or hide some magazines and put the Bible where they’d been?

Would you turn off the radio and hope He hadn’t heard?

And wish you hadn’t uttered that last, loud, hasty word?

Would you hide your worldly music and put some hymn books out?

Could you let Jesus walk right in, or would you rush about?

And I wonder – if the Saviour spent a day or two with you,

Would you go right on doing the things you always do?

Would you go right on saying the things you always say?

Would life for you continue as it does from day to day?

Would your family conversation keep up it’s usual pace?

And would you find it hard each meal to say a table grace?

Would you sing the songs you always sing, and read the books you read,

And let Him know the things on which your mind and spirit feed?

Would you take Jesus with you everywhere you’d planned to go?

Or would you, maybe, change your plans for just a day or so?

Would you be glad to have Him meet your very closest friends?

Or would you hope they’d stay away until His visit ends?

Would you be glad to have Him stay forever on and on?

Or would you sigh with great relief when He at last was gone?

It might be interesting to know the things that you would do

If Jesus Christ in person came to spend some time with you.

Perhaps this poem might be better entitled, “If Jesus Came to My House.” If He did come to my house, I wonder what I would do. How about you? Well dear friends it’s almost Christmas, am I are you ready or are we still in need of some last minute preparations? Are there somethings, or some ways of behaviour, or some ways of going about the daily tasks that need attention? Is there something that need to be done in the way we deal with those closely associated with us? Would we be comfortable taking Jesus to all the places we frequent and introducing him to our closest friends? Are we prepared to let him stay as long as he wants or better still do we want him to be a constant companion?

The story that I am going to narrate is of a man who decided to have the Lord in his house and about what happens when the Lord finally arrives his house as a guest.

One day a man decided to invite the Lord to come home and stay with him. When the Lord arrived, this young man offered him the very best room in the house. The room was upstairs and at the end of the hall, “This room is yours. Jesus! Stay as long as you like and you can do whatever you want to in this room, remember Jesus, it’s all yours.”

That evening after he had retired for the night there came a loud knocking at the front door. The young man pulled on his robe and made his way downstairs. When he opened the door he found that the devil had sent three of his demons to attack him. He quickly tried to close the door but one of the demons kept sticking his foot in.

Sometime later, after a great struggle, he managed to slam the door shut and returned to his room totally exhausted.

“Can you believe that” the man thought. Jesus is upstairs in my very best room sleeping while I am down here battling demons. Oh, well, maybe he just didn’t hear. He slept fully that night. The next day things went along as usual and, being tired as he was, the young man retired to bed early that evening. Along about midnight, there came such a terrible ruckus at the front door. The young man was sure that whatever it was, it would tear the door down. He stumbled down the stairs once again and opened the door to find that there were dozens of demons now trying to get into his beautiful home.

For more than three hours he fought and struggled against the demons from hell, and finally overpowered them enough to shut the door against their attack. All energy seemed to fail him. He really didn’t understand this at tall. Why won’t the Lord come to my rescue? Why does he allow me fight all by myself? I feel so week and alone. Troubled, he found his way to the sofa and fell into a restless sleep.

The next morning he decided to inquire of the Lord about the happenings of the last two evenings. Quietly he made his way to the elegant bedroom where he had left Jesus. “Jesus,” he called as he knocked on the door. “Lord,” I don’t understand what is happening. For the last two nights I have had to fight the demons away from my door while you were here sleeping. Don’t you care for me? Did I not give you the very best room in the house?”

He could see tears building in Jesus’ eyes but continued on, “I just don’t understand. I really thought that once I invited you in, to live with me, you would take care of me and I gave you the best room in my house and everything in it. What more can I do?”

“My precious child,” Jesus spoke so softly. “I do love and care for you. I protect all that you have released into my care. But, when you invited me to come here and stay, you brought me to this lovely room and you shut the door to the rest of your house. I am the Lord of this room but I am not the master of this house.”

I have protected this room and no demon may enter here. “Oh, Lord, please forgive me. Take all my house – It is all yours. I am so sorry that I never offered you all to begin with. I want you to have control of everything.” With this he flung open the bedroom door and knelt at the feet of Jesus. “Please forgive me Lord for being so selfish.”

Jesus smiled and told him that He had already forgiven him and that He would take care of things from now on. That night as the young man prepared for bed he thought, “I wonder if those demons will return, I am so tired of fighting them each and every night.” But, he knew that Jesus said that he would take care of thing from now on.

Along about midnight the banging on the door as frightening. The young man slipped out of his room in time to see Jesus going down the stairs. He watched in awe as Jesus swung open the door.

Satan stood at the door, this time demanding to be let in. “What do you want Satan?” the Lord asked. The devil bowed low in the presence of the Lord. “So sorry,” said the devil, “I seem to have gotten the wrong address.” And with that he and all the demons fled.

Well dear friends Jesus wants the whole of us and not just part of us. No one can serve two masters: he will either hate the first and love the second, or be attached to the first and despise the second. You cannot be the slave of both god and money as we read in Mathew chapter six, verse twenty four. In the parable of the treasure and the pearl Jesus tells us that the man who finds a treasure hidden in a field goes and sells everything he has in order to buy that field. And the merchant who finds a pearl of exceptional quality, sells everything he has to buy the pearl of immense value. (Mathew 13, 44-46). The Lord demands that we love him with total commitment as he says in Luke chapter ten verse twenty seven: “You shall love the Lord you God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength and with all your mind.” In other words the Lord wants us to love him with our whole self.

My dear brothers and sisters in Jesus Christ this advent we have been praying come Lord Jesus. He is ready to answer our prayers. He will take all that we give and nothing more. How much am I, how much are you prepared to give to the Lord? Am I, and Are you prepared to let him be the master of the entire house and not just part of the house?

Let us close with a short prayer. “Dear God, please help me to live in harmony with your will that if Jesus came in person to my house today, I would not in any way be embarrassed or ashamed. So help me God. Thank you for coming into my house, into my heart, hearing and answering my prayer. Grant Lord that I may surrender my whole life into your hands. May you be the Lord and master of my house, my life. Give me the grace and the strength to follow your teaching and do your holy will. Amen

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Fr Alex Kalathikattil sdb obtained his Ph.D in Theology at the Catholic University Leuven. He is currently professor at Kristu Jyoti College, (Bengaluru), aggregated to the Pontifical Salesian University, (Rome).