A HOMILY FOR THE FIRST SUNDAY OF ADVENT – CYCLE “B” – 11/30/14 – SMG
Pax et Bonum! Peace and goodness to you!
Every year, on the First Sunday of Advent, I make a promise to myself that I am really going to spend Advent listening to God. I know that’s what Advent is supposed to be about. I know, that to get really get ready for Christmas, we’re supposed to be listening to Him. God is calling. God has things that He wants to say to us. God is trying to prepare each one of us for His second coming. And every year, that’s my God. That’s what I say that I want. And then I hear those loud Ray Skillman Buick/GMC ads on TV. You know, that car dealer here in Indianapolis that sound like he’s from way down south? And they are always louder than anything else on TV. And then the commercials come on for Family Leisure’s pools, and pool tables, and home entertainment chairs. And I wonder, whatever happened to Watson’s and the Watson’s girl? And that jingle pops into my head, “Where family and fun come together!” And then the Verizon commercial comes on talking about their coverage and their rates and data plans. And then it is something else. And then another one. And another one. And pretty soon, the commercials, the TV, everything on the radio, Pandora, my playlist, the telephone, the computer, Facebook, Twitter… pretty soon they are all talking at me. And I’m trying to listen to them all. I’m trying to take it all in. Because I want to be informed. Because I want all the information that I can get from as many different sources as possible. Because I want to be connected to others in the social media. But what happens? Very soon, we can’t hear God. We aren’t connect to God any more. Usually, by the end of the First Week of Advent, my goal of listening to God is already starting to fade. And I miss out, I miss out, because I don’t hear what the living God, who loves me much more than Ray Skillman, or Verizon, or Facebook, is trying to tell me.
My brothers and sisters, our Gospel today tells us “To be watchful!”, “To be alert!”. We can’t be watchful or alert if we are not listening to God! And we can’t be listening to God, if all we’re hearing is the TV, or the computer, or radio. God can’t get through to us. It is not that God isn’t trying, nor is it that God doesn’t have much to say to us. We’re the problem. We tune God out. We don’t listen. And then we wonder why sometimes we feel so lost and alone.
Advent is the perfect time to do something about this. So much about Advent is about silence, and quiet, and listening. Before Jesus’ first coming, there was a silence of expectation that was everywhere. In the prophecies of Israel, in the desert of John the Baptist, in the relationship of Mary and Joseph and God, and even in stable just outside of Bethlehem, it was silent. No radio. No TV. No loud commercials. But God was there getting ready to do the most amazing thing that He had ever done!
How many amazing things does God want to do for us this Advent, if we would just let Him? We must listen. We’ve got to be quiet. We need to hear with our ears, our hearts, and our souls! We need to know that God is going to speak to us in our quiet prayer. We need to know that God is going to speak to us when we pick up a Bible and read Scripture this Advent. We need to know how powerful Eucharistic Adoration is during Advent. We need to know that God prepares and readies our hearts and souls, not in the noise of our world, but in the silence of our faith and love. Give Him some time and quiet this year. Let God have the chance to speak to you this Advent. Make the time. Set aside the space. Give Him the opportunity to make you ready for Christmas!
You know and I know, that in the coming weeks we are going to be bombarded with lots of things to do and much to listen to. We also know that as Catholic Christians we must make time and space for God in our lives. How much better of an Advent would each one of us have, if we just cut back on the TV, if we spent less time on the internet, and if we shut off the radio for awhile! We don’t even have to get rid of these things all together. All we have to do is cut back. Advent is the time to listen to God. The other eleven months of the year, maybe we can get by surrounded by all the noise, and words, and talking. But not in Advent. We need some quiet. We all need some silence.
Let us listen to God. He has great things in store for all of us! May we not miss out because we are listening to something or somebody else!
God bless us this Advent, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit… AMEN!!! St. Maria Goretti…