December 19, 2020
Wouldn't it be nice to win the Mega Million Lotto Jackpot? $310 Million today. What are the odds of winning? Actually, I looked it up and our odds are about 1 in 3 million. So it's possible.
Now in our first reading we heard God telling king David that someday God would send a Messiah to save our world. And God says that this Messiah will be related to King David. And in our Gospel we are hearing that Jesus will be that Messiah! Jesus was related to King David, but a lot of people were. How do we know that Jesus was the one? We might ask, "what are the odds?"
Since King David had lots of relatives, it would seem that the odds aren't that great that Jesus was the Messiah. BUT, being related to King David wasn't the only prophesy! The fact is, there were over 400 other prophesies as well - and Jesus fulfilled every one of them!!!
For example, about 740 years before Jesus was born, the prophet Isaiah proclaimed, the Messiah would be born of a virgin, and Jesus is born of the virgin Mary. And also that the Messiah would be raised in poverty, like Jesus, and heal the sick, like Jesus. All these prophesies Jesus fulfills.
Let's take a look at each of the 400. No, not really. But just a few. The prophet Micah 5:2 760 years earlier says that the one true Messiah was to be born in Bethlehem. And Jesus was born where? in Bethlehem.
520 years earlier we hear in the Psalms the Prophecy: The Messiah will speak in parables. (Psalms 78:2) And of course, Jesus spoke in parables!
The prophet Zechariah 9:9 says that the Messiah would enter Jerusalem riding on a donkey. Jesus, of course, did exactly that.
Psalms 41:9 says that the Messiah would be betrayed by a close friend, for 30 pieces of silver, one whom He trusted, one with whom He broke bread. Sound familiar? Who betrayed Jesus? Yes, Judas. And for 30 pieces of silver. That was written in Psalms 500 years before Jesus was even born!
Let's go back to our original question: What are the odds of any human meeting all of these prophesies? Actually, this has been looked at by Professor Peter Stoner, Chairman of the Departments of Mathematics and Astronomy at Pasadena City College. It turns out that to meet just 8, not all 400, but just 8, the odds would be not one in 3 million, or even 1 in a trillion. But one in a hundred thousand trillions! That means that for someone to meet just 8 of these prophesies, the odds would be the same as winning the Megamillion 33 billion times! Jesus Christ, in fulfilling all these 400 prophesies, was doing what no person could possibly do - unless they were the Messiah, the Son of God.
The reason I am pointing all this out is that it confirms that God had been working with people, making sure that we are saved, for more than 2800 years! That is how much God loves us. And God gets what he wants.
How does that impact your life? Well, it reminds us of how important it is that we think form time to time, that despite all the troubles in our world, God and goodness win in the end! We should be less anxious and worried. All will be well. Our hearts can rest. The birth of Jesus is changing the world in this very moment. According to the prophet Samuel, "[King David's] house, [God's house,] â€¦ shall endure forever." Jesus, and the world that he is making around us, along with us, wins in the end.
This year we experienced many troubles. The Covid-19 pandemic, and the vaccine is now here and the end of the pandemic around the corner. The clergy abuse scandal in our diocese and the country, political unrest, social injustice. I believe that cures for all of these are not far behind. You and I are a part of this. Allow yourself to feel great, lifted up knowing that your kind actions of charity and love in the world are bound up together as a part of God's 2800+ year effort to save us. Wouldn't you agree that God will finish what he started? I'd say the odds are pretty good! Amen.