‘Inside the Actors Studio’ is an American talk show, an award-winning series which was first started by James Lipton, who was the host who used to invite different celebrities, famous actors, writers and directors and used to talk about their career and how they do what they do. And when he used to host the show, at the end of each episode, he would ask this same particular question – “If you believe that God exists what do you think he will say to you when you finally see Him?” Let me repeat. If you believe that God exists, what do you think he will say to you when you finally see Him?
When I read that question, I found it as a very good question, an apt question for the sacrament of confession. A question that I can ask myself repeatedly. And this question can help me to make a serious evaluation or examination of my conscience. And on that particular day, this person, James Lipton, was interviewing Steven Spielberg. You may know that he is a famous director and actor and author, or for better understanding, the one who directed the movie, Jurassic Park.
At the end of the interview, this same question was asked to him. He Said, “Sir, what do you hope God will say to you when you finally see Him?” Steven Spielberg thought for a moment and then smiled. He replied, “When I meet God, God will say, “Thanks for listening. Thanks for listening”. Actually, that is the message and the main content of Christmas. Thanks for listening.
When Gabriel arrives to bring Mary the news that she will bear a child, she listens. When the Angel tells Joseph in his dream what is about to happen, Saint Joseph listens. The shepherd listened when the Angel announces the good news of great joy. And 2000 years later, every season, even today we heard the singing of the Carol. Good news of great joy, tidings of comfort and joy. When the choir sang that Carol this morning, we heard. Let me repeat, we heard. But did we listen? Where we attentive to the words that were sung this morning in front of us?
Christmas is all about listening.
In Matthew chapter one, in the genealogy the people about whom we read, you know what were their professions? They were farmers and shepherds and business people and slave and carpenters, soldiers, all different people. You know what God had told them when they would have met him? God must have told them, “Thanks for listening”. These people listened to the promise. They not only believed, but they were faithful to the promise, and that is the reason why today we are here observing this season of Advent and going to celebrate the feast of Nativity. It is because they listened God was able to fulfill this plan.