Thursday, 1st Week of Advent B
December 3, 2020
Matthew 7:21, 24-27
Good morning. As I stand here before you as your newly appointed deacon, I am humbled to be back among this wonderful community of believers. Today’s gospel has special meaning for me in the context of the beginning of our new liturgical year as we prepare during this Advent season for the coming of the Divine Infant just 22 days from now.
When I requested this assignment to return to Holy Ghost, I was asked when I would like it to commence. I replied that I would like this new chapter of my ministry to begin at the start of Advent, as for me this would truly be a new beginning; a time to return to this community who worships Our Lord so devoutly. A community that understands that true worship involves not only a faithful daily prayer life, but a life of service to others, especially those who are suffering and in great need.
Today’s Gospel passage comes at the end of the three chapters bursting with Jesus’ radical Christian teachings known as the Sermon on the Mount. Since St. Matthew has placed this exhortation to listen to “these words of mine” precisely here, we are to understand that we must listen to all that Christ says to us — in the Scriptures, in our prayer life, and in the liturgy. And after listening, we are to ACT.
These are the two pillars of the Christian life — contemplation and charitable actions. Omitting one of the two (or emphasizing one at the expense of the other) sometimes happens to the best of us, and we can lose our way like those who build houses on sand. Christ invites us to be like a wise man who values both prayer and action, who both hearkens AND helps. In this way we will build our houses on his rock foundation.
This Advent season provides a wonderful opportunity for all of us to establish and strengthen our spiritual foundation. We must start this new year with a solid Advent and a strong Christmas if we are going to live holy lives in the coming year with all of its inevitable trials and storms.
Today offers us a great opportunity to not only commit to building up our prayer life, but also to reflect on what more the Lord is calling us to do for him. How we might better put our faith into action.
Each one of us has been given a mission, a purpose that can only be fulfilled by us. Let us pray today that we might know what our mission is and resolve to faithfully embrace it. By doing so we will surely experience the best Christmas season ever, filled with joy and peace.
God bless you.