A Homily for the First Sunday of Advent
Sunday, November 27, 2022
Holy Ghost Church – 5:00 Mass
Isaiah 2:1-5; Psalm 122: 1-2, 3-4, 4-5, 6-7, 8-9; Romans 13:11-14; Matthew 24:37-44
- Today is the first Sunday of Advent, which is also the first Sunday of a new liturgical year for the Church.
- A time of new beginnings as we turn our attention to the coming of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
- Advent is a time to reflect on what’s really important in our lives and to PREPARE ourselves to meet Jesus, to welcome him into our lives.
- Most of us think of Advent, if we think about it at all, as a time to prepare for Christ’s coming at Christmas.
- Our secular culture certainly doesn’t think about Advent. It thinks only about Christmas, and then in a mostly secular sense. Immediately following Thanksgiving many will say “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Holidays”. But how often do you hear the greeting, “Blessed Advent?”
- If we’re honest, much of the time we spend during Advent in this preparation is decorating the house, buying gifts for loved ones, planning the Christmas gathering and meal
- In our culture Advent is nothing more than a time to party with co-workers and friends and to be involved in gift exchanges
- For so many, when Christmas Day finally comes we are exhausted and we breathe a sigh of relief that finally all the busyness is over, right?
- How many people take down the tree the week following Christmas, the time when the real Christmas season is just getting started?
- Very few people today use the season of Advent for its intended purpose…to prepare for Christ’s coming. How much time to we spend during this blessed season preparing our hearts for Christmas?
- Most of us can point to a few things they do differently during Lent, like giving up sweets and not eating meat on Fridays
- But how many of us can honestly point to those things we do differently during Advent, other than buying gifts and attending holiday parties?
- What spiritual disciplines will we add to our daily routine between now and Christmas?
- Advent is a time not only to prepare for the coming of the infant Jesus at Christmas, it’s also a time to prepare for the time each of us will meet him face-to-face.
- It’s a time to prepare for our death, Every one of us is going to die. We all know that, right?
- And what happens when we die? We will meet Jesus, right? The most important meeting of our lives and so many people never prepare for it!
- Most of us don’t like to think about our death, let alone prepare for it
- Our gospel reading today speaks about how our death, and ultimately the Second Coming of Christ in glory, will be like the flood in the time of Noah.
- The people of the world were going about the business of their everyday lives: eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, business as usual right up until the flood came and destroyed every living creature on the face of the earth.
- So it will be also at the coming of the Son of Man, the Second Coming of Christ in his glory
- So it will be for many people when death comes calling
- On an unexpected day, death can arrive at our doorstep. If we aren’t ready, if we have not lived a life of service and sacrifice, we will certainly not be ready for it
- Yes, death can come calling at any time. It can snatch away any one of us in a blink of an eye.
- BUT, If we are prepared, if we have done our best to live our life according to the teachings of the Church and repented of our sins when we fail, then the thought of our death should not depress us.
- Rather, it should prompt us to be ever alert and cause us to want to live a life that’s more pleasing to God
- So just how do we make the most of this Advent season to prepare for Christ’s coming? How do we make the best of the time we’ve been given to prepare to meet him?
- Well, for one there are many great resources available to us and most are free of charge. I’ll be posting this homily on my website (deaconscott.com) and I’ll include links there to some of my favorites.
- If we commit to making use of JUST ONE of these resources, it can make all the difference. Sometimes we just have to make a small change in our routine in order to make a meaningful change in our relationship with God.
- For example, we might consider giving up a half hour of television every evening so you can read and reflect on the day’s Mass readings and pray the rosary?
- Or maybe it’s getting out of bed a half hour earlier each morning?
- Maybe consider attending daily Mass once or twice during the week during Advent?
- Another way we should all consider is to plan on attending our parish Advent Mission starting Monday, December 5 and continuing through Wednesday the 7th.
- The title of the mission is “Prepare the Way of the Lord, Make Straight his Paths”
- This will be three consecutive evenings of talks by a nationally renowned speaker, Fr. Bill Casey, who is a frequent guest on EWTN.
- The talks begin at 7:00 each evening, with an opportunity for confession each day at 6:00.
- I can’t think of a better way to prepare yourselves for Christmas and to enter more fully into the Season of Advent
- Whatever it is you choose to do this Advent season, do something!
- Try to take a little more time to pray over the next four weeks before Christmas, asking God what he wants YOU to do with the many gifts he’s given you. Ask him when you receive communion today to speak to your heart about this
- By making an effort to do a little more for him, he will sanctify and bless you abundantly
- May the Lord inspire each of us to use this Advent season to really ponder how we might better serve and spend time with Him so that we’re prepared to welcome him when he comes as the Holy Infant in the manger, and when he comes as our judge at a time we least expect.
God bless you.
A Sampling of Advent Resources
Amazed by God – rcspirituality
Pray More Advent Retreat – PrayMoreNovenas
Advent Resources – Ignatian Spirituality