Homily – 2nd December 2018

HOMILY:  FIRST SUNDAY OF ADVENT ‘C’ 2018

‘In Advent, the liturgy frequently repeats and assures us, as if to overcome our natural diffidence, that God comes – he comes to be with us in every situation of ours….  He comes into human history, to knock at the door of every man and every woman of goodwill.’

Those words of Pope Benedict XVI underline for us the fundamental truth that this season of Advent stands for – and not only that; for they underline too what is in fact the fundamental truth of our entire Christian existence:  that it is always God who makes the first move – it is always God who takes the initiative.  All our efforts to grow in love, in holiness, in kindness and in all the virtues, depend absolutely on God taking the first step.  God comes ot us – that and that alone is what makes possible every response on our part to move towards him.

Most concretely we experience this truth as we share in the celebration of Mass.  Here God comes to us under the outward forms of bread and wine – the offerings we place on the Altar being first transformed into Christ’s Real Presence by the coming of the Holy spirit and the Lord’s own words – so that we may then each of u know personally the Lord’s coming to us in Holy Communion.

In the course of each of our lives, in the course of our Christian journey, there have probably been moments, even if only a few, when we have been conscious of God taking the initiative in our life:  God coming to us, maybe almost imperceptibly, prompting us, urging us, to turn to him – or perhaps simply to persevere in keeping our hearts and minds open to what is good and true and beautiful.   The season of Advent offers us a good opportunity, a blessed time, to reflect an to give thanks to God for what he has done for us and in us.

And then, just lastly, we have the chance to reflect on the mystery of the Lord’s coming to us by way of the Posada devotion:  the opportunity to prepare ourselves to give a generous welcome to the Lord (who will ome to us as we celebrate his Birth at Bethlehem) by welcoming now the image of his Mother and St Joseph into our homes for a few hours.

May our following this devotion here and in all the parishes of our Diocese warm our hearts and help us to pray with fervour that ancient prayer with which St John closes his Revelation of the heavenly mysteries:

‘Maranatha.  Amen, come Lord Jesus!  Come quickly!’