A HOMILY FOR THE FIRST SUNDAY OF ADVENT – CYCLE “C” – 12/2/18 – SMG
+ Pax et Bonum! Peace and goodness to you this day!
From the sound of our commercials on television, the radio, and even the internet, we have a LOT to worry about! It’s no wonder that we aren’t all a whole lot more stressed out than what we are! Are we getting the best rate for our car insurance? What if Geico is right, and we’re paying too much? What if our hair doesn’t bounce in the sun like it does in the Pantene shampoo commercials? Will people not like us? What if our pain reliever isn’t as fast as Advil? And you could have gotten rid of that headache a half-an-hour earlier? What if our spaghetti sauce isn’t as thick as Prego? Oh the humanity! Actually, the spaghetti sauce thing would worry me, but I’m pretty sure that’s because I’m Italian!
If you listen to the commercials and the ads, we have so many things to worry about in this life. And everything, in the ads at least, seems so life and death! I mean, who wants the heartbreak of Psoriasis? Or those white circles under the arms of your favorite black shirt, or a car that doesn’t get 35 miles per gallon? It’s like every decision that we make is so important!
We come to Mass this weekend, and we are beginning a new liturgical year, AND we begin the Holy Season of Advent, and as we listen to the words of today’s Gospel, we hear Jesus giving us the only real warning that we are ever going to need. Today Jesus talks to us about the only thing that we are ever really going to need to worry about. These are very sobering words today. Jesus is NOT exaggerating, or trying to scare us, or trying to sell us something. He is simply reminding us that we are going to want to be ready. Jesus says that the truth is that there is going to be a reckoning, a judgment! At a time and a place that we do not know. But what we do know is, that it is coming! And therefore all of us need to be vigilant, and prayerful, and ready! This is not some advertising trick to sell us something. This is not somebody trying to scare us or threaten us. Instead, this is a major teaching of our Faith. Jesus Himself said, that He was coming back again! It’s even in our Creed that we are going to say in a just a few minutes! The judgment that is coming is one thing that we need to most be concerned about, as we pass through this life and this world! In the end, it is all that matters! Advent is our time to get ready for that judgment, and to remember that it is coming soon for all of us!
My brothers and sisters, we need this time. We can’t do Christmas yet, because we aren’t ready. You know, we think, that because Jesus hasn’t come back yet, that somehow maybe He has just forgotten about His Second Coming. I promise you , that He hasn’t! We don’t need to be afraid. But we do need to be ready! In fact, we should look forward to His return! And as we wait, especially during this Holy Season of Advent, we need to use this time to grow in our relationship with Jesus! This world is NOT our home. We are only passing through here for a little while. Don’t get too comfortable! That’s also part of our Advent. There’s a certain uncomfortableness with this Season. We are NOT at Christmas yet. And we’ve got a lot to do before we get there!
Every Advent, we are called as Catholic Christians to be realistic. We have to face the fact that our world is broken and in need of healing, all of us are! And yet, we also remember during Advent that we are NOT hopeless! As Christians, especially as Catholic Christians, we don’t see the world as a “lost cause”, something to be scared of, or worried about! Instead, we see each life as an opportunity for healing and redemption. All is never lost until the final judgment.
So let’s celebrate this Advent season. Let’s get ready for Christ! Let’s pray more, and listen more, and serve more! Let’s heed Jesus’ warnings, for they really are the only thing that we need to be concerned about in this world. But let us never lose hope, because God has just begun to do His work within us!
May God bless us this Advent season! Father, Son, and Holy Spirit… AMEN !!!
St. Maria Goretti… Pray for us!!!