A realhomilie from Fr Kevin Walsh
On this the second Sunday of Advent, we hear the shout from John the Baptist…’Prepare a way for the lord, make his paths straight’. Is it like the sound of the man at the entrance to Wynyard Station, in Sydney, who every day shouts out the headlines…” Read all about it, people from outer space captured!” Would we really hear that man’s voice with that stunning news? Would that be enough for us to scramble among all the other people to get a copy of the newspaper? Or just saunter down to the station, keeping our wits about us, just in case we get tripped up by some person riding a scooter! Maybe the words, “people from outer space” might trip our minds, and cause us to: ’Read all about it’. Why? Perhaps it might have an impact on us!
Let’s have a look at the first Reading, and again the three readings are thematically connected during Advent. The Prophet Baruch’s proclamation is fantastic! God’s Word is so rich in content and import; and again, it is totally evergreen. It is for all seasons and ages….the faces have changed, but the message remains the same! No matter how gloomy and dark our world and it’s people can become, our God is Lord of all, over all, and God’s mercy and integrity are our escort!
In the second Reading, if you listen carefully as you meditatively read it, you will hear the gentle-strength in the Apostle Paul. We cannot help but be touched by his sincere love for the fledgling Philippian Church. His pastoral letter to this community is so uplifting, isn’t it? As I suggested in last week’s realhomilie, what another example for Leaders to flesh out Pastoral letters to the Church of today, using the Pauline way as a menu………….Notice his prayer for the community…….’ Is that your love for each other may increase more and more and never stop improving your knowledge and deepening your perception, so that you can always recognize what is best……’ What a wonderful prayer for the Church as it meets Christ unexpectedly, every day.
Today’s Gospel paints a vivid picture of a man with a mission! His name is John! His message is: “Change your ways; Repent!” Does that impact on us? He quotes the Prophet Isaiah from the Old testament:” Prepare a way for the Lord, make his paths straight!” But how was the Lord going to appear? Would he manifest himself like a meteor blazing a trail across the heavens before losing itself once again within the infinite galaxies? Would people perhaps glimpse him only for an instant before darkness closed in upon our world once again? No! For this “Word” who quietly and gently impacted our world would be born in the poverty of a stable; lying in an animal’s feeding box for his His bed. What warmth there was, came from the breath of the animals, the love that nurtured Him, was from the hearts of Mary and Joseph, as well as the inquisitive Shepherds, and the wise men from the East.
The Word was made flesh; Jesus the human face of the Father is the Emmanuel of Isaiah 7:14….’God is with us!’ Maybe it is the hills in our hearts, and the valleys within our being which need to be leveled, and filled in. The words of our Opening Prayer today say it all: ‘God of power and mercy, open our hearts in welcome. Remove the things that hinder us from receiving Christ with joy, so that we may share his wisdom, and become one with him when he comes in glory…’
May we continue with our self-appraisal in this time of Advent, using the Gospel of Jesus as our Invitation and Guide. May we have a complete ‘change of heart’ so that nothing may hinder us from seeing, and receiving Jesus in one another, and in ourselves with joy!
‘Heaven and Earth will pass away, but my Words will never pass away,’ says the Lord!
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Fr.Comagh Brannagh (Kevin Walsh), is writing a Book about some of the antics that his Irish ancestors got up to: Why not check out A LITTLE SMALL PLACE CALLED FINUGE on the FUNNIES TAB on my Blogsite: https://realhomilies.wordpress.com/
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