A HOMILY FOR THE SECOND SUNDAY OF ADVENT –CYCLE “C” – 12/9/18 – SMG
+ Pax et Bonum! Peace and goodness to you this day!
One of the debts that we owe to the ancient Romans, is for our roads. You see, the Romans were experts designing, planning, and building road that they used to connect their empire centuries ago. So there you go, before they were famous for pizza, and pasta, and high performance sports cars, the people who once ruled the entire modern world were famous for their roads. This is exactly where we get the saying, “All roads lead to Rome”, because literally back then, you could follow just about any road in the Roman Empire, and eventually it would take you back to Rome. Our interstate system of highways in this country is based on the principles that the Romans used two-thousand years ago. Roman stone-paved roads stretched all over the world, and were built by slaves and paid for by those whom they conquered. Many of these roads were amazing, going over hills and mountains, and under aqueducts, as the Romans learned to use twists and turns to avoid nature’s obstacles. Roman roads were anything but straight. And the ruins of those road, what’s left of them, show us just amazing they must have been two-thousand years ago!
John the Baptist, who makes his appearance in our Gospel for this Second Sunday of Advent, would have traveled on Roman roads frequently. In fact, those who came out to the desert to hear John preach, probably did so on roads built by the Romans. And it was out there in the desert, where the paved Roman roads ended, that John the Baptist delivers the message that we receive today. John tells his listeners to build a new road, a new one for God’s Son. John says, “Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight His paths.” John’s not talking about building a road with stones, and sand, and mortar. Instead, he is challenging those who are listening, that they might pave a way for God’s love to enter into their hearts and souls!
John’s promise to his listeners two-thousand years ago, and to all of us today, is that if we truly seek to make a straight path to God in our lives, we will experience God in the flesh in a way that we can’t even begin to imagine! The promise is that God will be with us to help us to find Him. That He will assist us in our “road-making” and “bridge-building”, making winding roads both straight and smooth, by forgiving us our sins and removing obstacles from our path. Every valley shall be filled and every mountain and hill be made low. The Lord will purify us, and perfect us, and prepare us for Himself!
My brothers and sisters, we are ALL on that road to God, to Heaven. And Jesus is the way! This road work began in us the day that we were Baptized, and continues until that day when we go home to God. This Advent is an extremely special time in our journey. Advent is an opportunity for us to grow in our knowledge, love, and perception of God in our lives. Advent help us to discern what really is of value in this life, and what really is important. And here’s a little hint, what is of value is NOT our things, our money, or our property. What lasts forever are the things and values of Heaven! This Advent, let’s make sure were on the right road. May we persevere on the road to Heaven everyday. And may we be witnesses to others as we travel down the path of the Lord, and invite others to join us on the road to Heaven. There’s room for everybody on the road to Heaven. We just have to avoid the highway to Hell!
This coming Tuesday, December 11th, we have the opportunity to do some road repair on our spiritual journey. At 7 PM, on Tuesday evening, we are having our annual Advent Communal Penance Service. We got a lot of priests coming to help us out on Tuesday night. We need to ALL take advantage of this opportunity and be here for the Penance service. We all need reconciliation. Nobody’s road to God is perfect. Come and join us Tuesday evening!
May we stay on straight path to God! May our road to Heaven get us safely home to Jesus!
+ And may God bless us this day, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit… AMEN !!!
St. Maria Goretti… Pray for us !!!