Monday, March 11, 2019 at 6:38 PM
Stations of the Cross every Friday in Lent. We are alternating times. This Friday, March 15 at 7:00pm, next Friday, March 22 at 3:00pm. If you are of age, please remember to Fast and Abstain

12/9/18 Second Sunday in Advent - Deacon Tony

Deacon Tony Conti

Second Sunday of Advent
Lectionary: 6

  • From St. Paul’s Letter to the Philippians: “And this is my prayer: that your love may increase ever more and more in knowledge and every kind of perceptionto discern what is of value…”
  • How we perceive what is of value in life can make all the difference…
  • This is a question that we must all ask ourselves throughout our livesWhat do we valuewhat do we hold dear
  • What we place value upon determines how we spend our time, and our resources
  • What we value in life determines our destiny
  • Advent is a very good time to re-assess what we value in our lives…
  • Are the things we value timeless?
  • Will they matter when we’re gone?
  • Are they bigger than we are?
  • These are some of the questions that we should reflect upon…
  • Advent is defined in the dictionary as the arrival of a notable person, thing, or event.
  • Are we preparing ourselves this advent for an anticipated arrival, or are we just too consumed in the inevitable rush toward Christmas Day?  
  • What are we hoping for this Christmas season?  
  • What is it that we desire?  
  • What gift are we seeking?  
  • How will we arrive at Christmas?  
  • Will we arrive changed and renewed in spirit, or will we arrive exhausted and spent?
  • It all depends upon what we value...  
  • If we solely value temporal things… that’s exactly what we will receive...  
  • Things that simply don’t last... things that cannot pass the test of time... things that are nice... but cannot sustain us for the long haul...  
  • What would happen instead if we longed for a renewed spirit... for a new way of living... for better relationships with family and friends... for a refreshed outlook on life?  
  • What would happen if we longed for and learned to value these things this advent
  • When we celebrate the coming of Christ into the world each year... we’re also celebrating the coming of Christ into our hearts in a renewed way...  
  • Until we can discern what is of real value in life… We’ll continue to wander from one perceived delight to another… and never find lasting fulfillment…
  • What is of value in life are relationships
  • What is of value in life are compassion and mercy, and forgiveness
  • What is of value in life is learning to receive and share God’s love with others
  • There’s a photo of President George H. W. Bush’s service dog laying beside his fallen master’s casket…
  • That’s a beautiful testament of love and faithfulness… and it’s another example of what is of value in life
  • What we hold to be of value in life is the issue – Not just this Advent, but every day of our lives...
  • It’s our outlook and our perspective which often needs converting...
  • And this is a spiritual task, not an intellectual one...
  • We can’t think or will ourselves into a new way of living...
  • We need to ask for God’s help and maintain an open heart
  • We’ve got to learn trust in God’s deep love for us...
  • We’ve got to be open to the change that God brings into our lives...
  • We’ve got to be willing to let go of old familiar ways in order to enter into the new life that God offers us...
  • And if we refuse… nothing will changeand perhaps that’s the greatest tragedy of life
  • We can never discern what is of value in life with a hardened heart
  • And the best way to rid ourselves of a hardened heart is to go to reconciliation and humbly ask God to take our burdens from us… to heal us of our own wounds in order to allow us to care for the wounds of others…
  • Father Paul Farren wrote: “Forgiveness then brings us peace and frees us to love.  This is at the heart of the sacrament of Reconciliation.  It is a celebration of our freedom to loveWe can be hostages to our own lack of forgiveness.” (Freedom and Forgiveness; Pg. 36).
  • There’s really no way to make sense of this life without faith... 
  • Faith fills in the gaps of life and helps us to appreciate the mystery that life can sometimes be... 
  • We weren’t created to figure life out… We were created to live it in the fullness that our Creator intended… 
  • We were created to be another Christ in our own small part of the world…
  • This may sound lofty but it’s really not – Any small act of kindness when done with a loving heart is an imitation of Christ that is not lost on God…
  • We were created by love to love
  • That’s our ultimate calling in life... 
  • Everything else is intended to lead us to this universal calling... 
  • St. Paul says in our second reading: “I am confident of this, that the one who began a good work in you will continue to complete it” 
  • God has begun a good work in each of us… But God cannot complete it without our cooperation… Without our consent
  • I saw a billboard years ago for a popular phone book and the caption read: “Stop searching and start finding.”
    • Advent is a time for each of us to stop searching, and to start finding...
  • A time to find ourselves, to find what is of value in life, and to find in our hearts, God’s deep love for all of His Creation... including ourselves...

 

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