A HOMILY FOR THE THIRD SUNDAY OF ADVENT – CYCLE “B” – 12/14/14 – SMG
Pax et Bonum! Peace and goodness to you this day!
The awesome Mr. C.S. Lewis wrote in his book, Mere Christianity, that “As long as you are proud, you cannot know God. A proud man is always looking down on things and people; and of course, as long as you are looking down, you cannot see something that is above you.” Our pride causes us problems. It doesn’t matter who you are and what you have accomplished, or not accomplished, pride is that self-deception that gets us all in trouble. Pride is the deadliest of the seven deadly sins. And when you couple pride with selfishness, you find the two sins that send more souls to Hell than any other. And the two sins are also most likely going to cause most of us to spend more time in purgatory than any other.
John the Baptist’s humble witness to Jesus in our Gospel today, reminds all of us in these final weeks, and days of Advent, that we can’t be too full of ourselves to let God in. When the Jewish priests, Levites, and Pharisees came from Jerusalem to John the Baptist, he could have told them anything. John the Baptist was so popular, as we heard last week, he could have made himself a king. He could have announced that he was the Messiah. He could have said anything that he wanted to. And yet, John the Baptist fulfils his role as Herald of the Messiah, by pointing only to Jesus, to the Real Messiah. John’s humble words today, “I baptize you with water; but there is one among Whom you do not recognize, the One who is coming after me, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to untie.” Can you imagine how that must have sounded to the Levites and Pharisees? St. John the Baptist was a great man. He had changed so many lives! He was holy. He was good. He was popular. He was loved and respected. He had even drawn these Jewish religious leaders out into the desert! Who in the world was coming after him that he would be unworthy to untie His sandal straps? John was humble. John was humble because he knew Who was coming after him. He knew that he wasn’t god.
In these last days of our Advent season, we too need to know that we are NOT god. We need a very real humility to know who we really are, and to know Who the real God is supposed to be in our lives. We think too much of ourselves, and we will miss out. He must become greater and greater. We must become lesser and lesser. In these final days of preparation for Christmas we would all do well to remember this lesson. Christ can’t be Lord and God of our life if we are already too busy playing that role ourselves! This week, let us pray for a true humility. Let us put God and others before ourselves. And sometimes that means that need to be more generous towards God and others!
This weekend, we keep a tradition that we have had from the very beginning of St. Maria Goretti, and that is, in Advent, we invite the Little Sisters of the Poor, to come out to the Parish, to let us share in their incredible work with the poor and elderly and the sick. The Sisters have always given us such a beautiful example and witness of true humility. Please welcome the Little Sisters of the Poor to St. Maria Goretti, once again…
May God bless us on this Gaudate Sunday, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit… AMEN !!!
St. Maria Goretti…Pray for us !!!