30 November and 1 December 2013 Homily First Sunday Advent A
My sisters and brothers in Christ.
It is Advent.
It is time for us to celebrate God taking on our flesh.
God taking on our flesh means our flesh is changed and we are changed.
The final Sundays of the church year talked about the end times and the judgment.
Today Jesus speaks about our being prepared not some of the time but all of the time for his “coming” again.
We are really living “in between” Jesus first coming in history almost two thousand years ago and his final coming.
We know more about Jesus first coming in history than we can know about his final coming.
What are we to do?
Can we sit around like those who are convinced
the end is “near”,
so they cannot work,
live off other people’s generosity and
be “busy bodies”?
That option may be attractive but clearly is not an option.
“Busy bodies” spread darkness and distrust
light and hope.
The prophet Isaiah speaks today of “all the nations streaming towards the Lord’s house…”
We, with all the nations, are to learn “the Lord’s ways” and “walk in his (the Lord’s) paths.”
The “Lord’s ways” do not include perfecting the art of gossip and minding other people’s business.
The Letter to the Romans today encourages us to be “awake” and to realize how “near our salvation is…”
Each day after our baptism we are nearer to salvation.
In Baptism the Lord comes to us not in a past distant history but in our “lived” history.
Each day after our Baptism is a day when the Lord is coming to us; if we are awake and if we are about the Lord’s business we recognize his presence.
In this time of short cold days and longer and even colder nights the Letter to the Romans speaks to us about “throwing off the works of darkness and putting on the armor of light.”
Jesus, in the Gospel, also says “…stay awake!”
We cannot know when Jesus’ final coming to us will be.
That means we must be prepared each day and every day for the Lord’s coming to us.
The Lord will come “like a thief in the night.”
The Lord comes not to steal our things, take our money, harm our families.
The Lord comes to steal our hearts, conquer our fears and bring us to the Father.