2nd Sunday of Advent
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When we invite a guest or friends into our home, we hoover, dust & clean our home ~ so that our guests feel warmly welcomed, cosy & comfortable. It is the same in the spiritual life: at every Advent, Holy Mother Church ~ asks & challenges us all to have our spiritual home in order ~ to clear out the dirt & sin in our souls through confession and to properly welcome and receive Jesus through the Most Holy Eucharist into our bodies, hearts & souls. May our homes be filled with Christ’s eternal joy, love, hope & peace.
The Advent spirit of waiting and longing for the Lord reminds us of the daily call to holiness, to be ready, to be prepared. I welcome all our candidates for Frist Confession and Holy Communion. We are all preparing for the coming of Christ this Advent.
Our first candle symbolises our hope in God, Hope
Our second candle our faith in God, Faith
Next week our third candle joy which is rose coloured, Joy
The following week our fourth candle symbolises peace, Peace
and on Christmas day our white candle symbolizes the eternity of God. Eternity
“A voice cries out in the wilderness, prepare a way for the Lord, make his paths straight.” Do people experience us as joyful believers? Do we reflect upon, rest with, respond to God and ready ourselves for Gospel service by prayer, study and service? Are we faithful stewards?
Deeply from within, we desire to be holy: to be in complete communion with our triune God. Often in our spiritual life, the fire of our faith can be about to blow out! Hence why Jesus tells us in Matthew 24 and in Luke 12 that will He come as a thief at night. Throughout the Gospels Jesus keeps telling us: “Awake! Strengthen! Remember! Repent!”
As your priest: my heart is gladdened with joy when I see you progress in the spiritual life. I tell my school children to pray every day to God, Our Lady & our guardian angel. Our prayer always teaches us what is within our hearts: distractions, temptations, our identity, our desires, our hopes, our dreams and our plans. Prayer invites us to be content with our lot.
At night, a caring & devoted husband kisses his beloved wife goodnight each night. Every morning, a priest kisses his altar at the beginning of Mass and at the end of Mass. Marriage fills the earth and celibacy fills heaven. In Matthew 22:30 we read that in the resurrection (that is heaven) there is no marriage. Priestly celibacy supernaturally points us towards heaven. In all our vocations ~ our hearts must be fully in it. Our love is to be expressed, embodied and embraced for what it is ~ a true treasure & a beautiful gift.
God invites us to change our lives. Advent invites us to atone for our sins, to change our lives and to straighten our path to the Lord. We all need God’s grace. Confession frees us up from sin and enables us to reflect more on the roots & triggers of our sins. The Most Holy Eucharist ~ God’s greatest gift is God’s being, body, blood & divinity.
Life is like a train journey, we exit and embark, we get delayed or derailed, we meet some people and build friendships and at the end of it all, we walk away. Pope Francis once said that: “The world tells us to seek success, power & money; God tells us to seek humility, service &
love.” We are to help one another get to heaven. Isaiah in our first reading declares that the Spirit of the Lord will bring: “a spirit of wisdom and insight, a spirit of counsel and power, a spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord.” In our second reading from Romans St Paul tells us: “to treat each other in the same friendly way as Christ treated you.”
The mystery of God is a gift to be lovingly and faithfully passed on. May our hearts be filled with faith in God as Isaiah tells us in our first reading: “a spirit of wisdom and insight, a spirit of counsel and power, a spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord.” The fire of the Gospel must dwell within us and the Lord must dwell within us. This is why we share in the Sacrifice of the Holy Mass. We go to Mass to let God shape our hearts and to grow in our faith and fidelity. May our love for God blossom and bear eternal fruit. At Mass, we learn more about the truth, the theology, and the treasures of our faith. At Mass Christ himself who is our teacher, bestows graces and blessings upon us.
The Sacraments renew, refresh and restore our relationship with God. May we always go to Confession for forgiveness of sins. May we always adore the Lord present to us in the Most Holy Eucharist, Amen. In preparing for advent, we are to take stock of our priorities, and be ready for our final days. May we always go to Confession for forgiveness of sins. May we always adore the Lord present’s loving, fatherly and powerful presence in the Most Holy Eucharist, Amen.
Lord, have mercy on us sinners ~ as we prepare our way through the wilderness for you O loving Lord. let’s all make a straight highway for God across the desert of our hearts.
St Anthony of Padua declared: “Remember that when you leave this earth, you can take nothing with you, which you have received, only that which you have given.”
-Fr Fergal Cummins CC