Wednesday, June 24, 2020 at 9:37 AM
INDOOR Masses have begun. Sign up below on "SignUp Genius" Live Streaming Mass is available by clicking the Red "Watch Live" button. Text "OLFWILTON" to 84576 to join flocknote

12/8/19 Second Sunday of Advent - Deacon Tony

Deacon Tony Conti

Second Sunday of Advent
Lectionary: 4

  • From our first reading: “There shall be no harm or ruin on all my holy mountain; for the earth shall be filled with knowledge of the Lord, as water covers the sea.”  
  • Isaiah describes a place where we all long to reside... a place of peace and harmony... a place where justice and truth reign supreme... a place where there’s no more want, no more poverty, no more sickness... 
  • A place where love is the guiding principle and anger and hatred have no place…
  • In today’s Gospel - John the Baptist tells us that the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand... and so we might ask ourselves as we look around at our troubled world - Where is it?  
  • Where is this kingdom that Isaiah describes and that John proclaims is at hand?
  • We often get a fleeting glimpse of this Kingdom each Christmas day, when for a brief time, nations declare temporary cease fires, and people put away their anger and hatreds for a single day that is all too short
  • The Kingdom of Heaven resides in the last place we might look for it… it’s resides within every human heart, just waiting to be released
  • God’s glory and God’s kingdom show themselves most clearly in every act of selflessness… in every act of compassion… in every act of mercy… and in every act of forgiveness...
  • Somewhere it seems; we’ve lost our way... and the only means to find our way back is by embracing the way that Jesus charted for us... the way of decency, the way of selflessness, the way of fairness, the way of caring... the way that leads to a life of honor, character and integrity...
  • Anything less is simply unworthy of the God who created us...
  • These virtues are hallmarks of Jesus’ teachings, and they clearly exemplify the life that He lived... yet we seem to have relegated them to the past, as “old fashioned” and no longer relevant in our modern world...
  • Our world today seems more concerned with optics... how do we look… how are we coming across... how are we being received?
  • Self advancement and gain seem to be the new virtues that we must strive for... often at the cost of honor, character, and integrity...
  • Is this the type of world we really want to live in
  • Is this the type of life we believe we can take pride in on our deathbeds
  • Is this what we’ve learned from the Gospels and from Jesus’ life of self sacrifice?
  • I recently read an article where the author described his thirty six hour ordeal in an airport trying to get a flight from New York to San Francisco…
  • He had endured poor treatment by two airlines, was offered no food or shelter, and had no funds to procure them…
  • I often read the comments section to get a feel for how the article was received by others…
  • I was quickly dismayed at the callous attitude of many of the readers toward this man…
  • I had to ask myself - Where has our compassion gone...
  • Where has mercy disappeared to...
  • Why do we so often choose anger and insult over love and charity?
  • Jesus isn’t interested in our worldly status and accomplishments... He’s interested in our hearts...
  • Have they been battered and bruised by the world?
  • Have they been betrayed?
  • Have they been broken by sorrow?
  • Every human heart has at some time or another experienced each of these hurts which can harden them and cause us to become cynical and callous to the needs of others…
  • If however; we choose to allow ourselves to go through life with a hardened heart, we’ll never find the Kingdom that John calls us to… because God’s Kingdom is unable to free itself from the hardened walls of a soul that can no longer feel compassion for another…
  • Despite what we may have been through in life… Jesus can provide the needed healing… If we allow Him
  • We can often find this healing through the sacrament of reconciliation…
  • There are simply no human emotions or feelings that Jesus hasn’t experienced and cannot heal
  • Each of us has the power to change the world in small ways every day…
  • Perhaps the greatest issue that we face is that we seldom take the time to stop and take a hard look at our lives...
  • Advent and Lent are seasons for self reflection
  • If we don’t occasionally reflect upon, and question the life that we’re living, we’re not really living at all...
  • We’re just going through the motions until one day the music stops and we’re forced to face the fact that the life we’ve lived wasn’t what we thought or hoped it would be...
  • John the Baptist tells the crowd: “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!
  • Repentance isn’t about becoming someone we’re not, but rather learning to become who we already are underneath all of the fears and anguish that drive us...
  • In his book: Four Steps to Spiritual Freedom, Father Thomas Ryan wrote: “The Grace of repentance is not about turning around in order to become someone other than ourselves; rather, it is about turning around in order to be restored to what is deepest and best in us.”  (Pg 40)
  • The world changes one person at a timeOne selfless act at a timeOne day at a time
  • Jesus takes each selfless act and multiplies its effects in the same way that He multiplied the loaves and fishes in the gospels…
  • Advent is a time to renew our commitments to be kinder, more understanding, more patient, more tolerant, more forgiving, and more caring
  • It’s a time to look around us and see all of the needless suffering, anguish, and hatred and vow to help lessen them by how we choose to live our lives
  • Advent heralds the time and place when love became incarnate on the earth…
  • The incarnation of God’s love wasn’t intended to be confined to one time and place… it was meant to bloom over and over through all time and in all places
  • And in order for this to occur - His love must become incarnate in each of us… in our hearts, in our minds… and in our actions

Comments

There are no comments for this post.

Add a comment

Will not be shared.
Add Comment
 
Online Giving

Online Giving

Secure and Convenient Donate now!