Thursday, June 14, 2018 at 5:37 PM
HONOR ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST-Saturday, June 23rd at 6:30 around the front circle for the Blessing of the Fire

120416 Second Sunday of Advent - Fr. Damian

John the Baptist appeared, preaching in the desert of Judea and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!”

Repent! This is such a strong word for all people. Yet it only means to change course, destination. It is admission that our lives are off course and we must correct our course. Sometimes that repentance is a total change of course and sometimes it is just a slight correction of our course.

What is our course? Always and at every moment: what God wants of us. So to repent for us is to seek God’s will and to attempt to do God’s will. Advent invites us always to deepen our awareness of the ways in which God comes into our lives and to seek to live according to God’s will.

The best example of such following of Jesus is the example of Mary, His mother.

The Prophet Isaiah recognized many centuries ago that we are unable to change our course by ourselves. We need to have God. We need to have a Savior. With his gift of prophecy, given by God, he foresaw the Peaceable Kingdom, recognizing the child who would come and be the Savior. In Advent we are invited to look with the Prophet Isaiah at our world and to recognize that even though the Savior has come, we are personally still in need of that Savior. We can also recognize that the world as a whole has not accepted the Savior.

Yet so many people yearn for the Peaceable Kingdom, where all is peace and all is harmony and where there is no fear but only love and care for one another.

The Letter to the Romans, in the second reading today, puts it this way: Welcome one another, then, as Christ welcomed you, for the glory of God. How different our world would be if each one of us welcomed everyone else as Christ has welcomed us! It is really difficult to believe that God wants us to do this. Yet it is the heart of the Gospel and the heart of following Jesus as Lord.

So we return to repentance in the Gospel of Matthew today and realize that we are being called by God to this repentance. We are being asked personally by God to change our course into the course of God. We will be given all power and strength to do this if only we set out to do it. Jesus Himself assures us in His life, death and resurrection that we will have life if we follow Him daily.

Let us start now, on this Sunday of Advent, to seek His will, to do His will and always to rejoice in the love that has been given to us. May John the Baptist be our model: in all things he pointed to Jesus Christ because Advent is a time to “prepare the way for the Lord”, a time to raise our expectations of ourselves and of God. It is a time to commit ourselves to daily prayer and Scripture reading, to participating in weekday Mass, and the Sacrament of Confession. Yet no matter how little or how greatly we offer ourselves to God, He loves us: continually and boldly, because His love is mysterious and unexpected.

John the Baptist appeared, preaching in the desert of Judea and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!”

Repent! This is such a strong word for all people. Yet it only means to change course, destination. It is admission that our lives are off course and we must correct our course. Sometimes that repentance is a total change of course and sometimes it is just a slight correction of our course.

What is our course? Always and at every moment: what God wants of us. So to repent for us is to seek God’s will and to attempt to do God’s will. Advent invites us always to deepen our awareness of the ways in which God comes into our lives and to seek to live according to God’s will.

The best example of such following of Jesus is the example of Mary, His mother.

The Prophet Isaiah recognized many centuries ago that we are unable to change our course by ourselves. We need to have God. We need to have a Savior. With his gift of prophecy, given by God, he foresaw the Peaceable Kingdom, recognizing the child who would come and be the Savior. In Advent we are invited to look with the Prophet Isaiah at our world and to recognize that even though the Savior has come, we are personally still in need of that Savior. We can also recognize that the world as a whole has not accepted the Savior.

Yet so many people yearn for the Peaceable Kingdom, where all is peace and all is harmony and where there is no fear but only love and care for one another.

The Letter to the Romans, in the second reading today, puts it this way: Welcome one another, then, as Christ welcomed you, for the glory of God. How different our world would be if each one of us welcomed everyone else as Christ has welcomed us! It is really difficult to believe that God wants us to do this. Yet it is the heart of the Gospel and the heart of following Jesus as Lord.

So we return to repentance in the Gospel of Matthew today and realize that we are being called by God to this repentance. We are being asked personally by God to change our course into the course of God. We will be given all power and strength to do this if only we set out to do it. Jesus Himself assures us in His life, death and resurrection that we will have life if we follow Him daily.

Let us start now, on this Sunday of Advent, to seek His will, to do His will and always to rejoice in the love that has been given to us. May John the Baptist be our model: in all things he pointed to Jesus Christ because Advent is a time to “prepare the way for the Lord”, a time to raise our expectations of ourselves and of God. It is a time to commit ourselves to daily prayer and Scripture reading, to participating in weekday Mass, and the Sacrament of Confession. Yet no matter how little or how greatly we offer ourselves to God, He loves us: continually and boldly, because His love is mysterious and unexpected.

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