Here is my homily for this weekend. God’s blessings on each of you!
4th Sunday of Advent – Cycle C
December 19/20 , 2015
Micah 5:1-4; Heb 10: 5-10; Luke 1: 39-45
He is almost here! Jesus,the Son of God coming in the flesh, in a manger, the child Jesus. We have been awaiting him, throughout Advent we have been waiting, praying, and singing of his coming in many ways here at the parish:
Maranatha! Come, Lord Jesus!
O Come, O Come, Emmanuel – God is with us!
On Jordan’s bank the Baptist’s cry: Make straight the way of the Lord!
Level the mountains of sin!
Fill the valleys of darkness and loneliness!
Let all mankind see the salvation of our God!
Yes, we have waited for, we have prayed for, and we have sung of his coming!
Yes, soon, Jesus is coming!
We remember his coming during Advent and Christmas each liturgical year, but really we are to experienc and remember, every day throughout the year the coming of Jesus, because he continually comes into the world and into our lives.
Yes, so long ago, 2015 years ago, he came in the flesh, as the child of Bethlehem, born the son of Mary and the Son of God, conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit. True God and true man. This was his first coming, and there was no room for him in the inn, no place for him in the hearts of most men that night, except for the shepherds, the poor, so he was born in a nearby stable with the poor.
Yes, someday in the future, he will come again, in glory with salvation for his people, and on that day we will see his glory, the dead will rise, and the just will be united with God forever.
But today and every day he comes, he never ceases to come, at every moment in our lives he wants to come to us if we are open to him. He knocks on the doors of our hearts, asking to be let in, asking to enter our lives asking if there is room for him in our inn, asking if he can make his home among us, asking to live within us, asking us if we have a room prepared, cleaned up for him, whether our lives are in good order to welcome him.
Yes, Jesus has come, he comes today, he will come again!
That is our faith. It is the faith of the Church. The three comings of Jesus.
On this last Sunday of Advent, we await, in a holy waiting, his first coming, the day in which God, Emmanuel, took on our human nature and entered our world as a man, to bring humanity back to God, to grasp us firmly and lift us up, with him, to share in his divinity, yes, to make us like him, to make us sons and daughters of God. God will reach down into the deepest of the deep to raise us up to the highest of all heights and take us back to the Father, to our heavenly home.
On this last Sunday of Advent, we look for his glorious coming someday in the future, at a time only God the Father knows. We long for that day, if we examine our hearts, this final coming of Jesus, when all of humanity, yes, all of creation, will see Jesus again, he who has created, and loved, and cared for us all this time even if we didn’t recognize him or accept him,we will see him in all his splendor and glory.
On this last Sunday of Advent, we open ourselves to his coming into our lives now. We have a final chance to get ready, to seek forgiveness of our sins, to try to open our hearts and our minds to the presence of God who is all around us, a God who wants at every moment to become one with us, to become intimate with us, who wants to share our every joy, our every sorrow, our every triumph, and to soften every defeat. A God who continuously knocks at the doors of our hearts and asks: “May I enter? May I be not only your God and Lord, but your brother and your father? Is there room for me in the inn?”
One of my good memories of my time in Rome in 1977 and 1978 was attending St. John Paul II’s initial Mass as pope. Maybe you remember it from watching the TV. In his homily he repeated several times, “Non avete paura! Aprite le porte a Cristo!” “Do not be afraid!Open wide your doors to Christ!”
Open wide your doors to Christ! For he comes!
Open wide your hearts! Do not fear! Look at Mary, the Mother of God. She opened wide her heart. She kept close to her heart the God who came to her. She said, “Yes” to God. She said, “Fiat.” She said, “Let it be done to me.” Mary would not have become the Mother of God had she not first had an open heart that waited for her Savior, and trusted in him. She welcomed and treasured, she nurtured, obeyed, followed and trusted the God who became her son. She opened her heart to the coming of the Lord.
Open wide the doors of your life to Jesus! Do not fear to let him come, to let him enter, to let him carry you when you have no place to stay, when you have no room in the inn, when you are lonely and frightened, alone and afraid.
Do not fear, but rejoice that Jesus has come into our world to redeem us, to forgive us our sins, to fill in the valleys in our lives, to knock down the mountains that block our path to heaven.
Let us not fear, but with hope, open our hearts to Jesus and look for him to come again,we who have waited for him, desired him, prepared for him a place in our hearts.