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Sunday, December 02, 2007

Homily First Sunday of Advent Year A 2 December 2007

It is said that President John F. Kennedy was very fond of a particular story. During his 1960 presidential campaign he often used it to close his speeches.
It is the story of Colonel Davenport, Speaker of the Connecticut House of Representatives back in 1789.
One day, while the House was in session, the sky of Hartford suddenly grew dark and gloomy.
Some of the representatives looked out the windows and thought this was a sign that the end of the world had come. An uproar ensued with the representatives calling for immediate adjournment.
But Davenport rose and said…
“Gentlemen, the Day of Judgment is either approaching or it is not. If it is not, there is no cause for adjournment. If it is, I choose to be found doing my duty. Therefore, I wish that candles be brought.”
Candles were brought and…by candlelight…the session continued.

Congressman Davenport chose to be found doing his duty.

[PAUSE]
In this holy season of Advent…
we celebrate with hope and anticipation…in three unique ways…
the “advent”…or the “coming”…of Christ.
We remember Christ's coming in history
as we recall the stories of the people of the Old Testament…
the Israelites who lived in great hope…
and longed for the Messiah…the anointed one of God…
who would bring them salvation and blessedness.

We also sharpen our awareness of Christ's coming in the last days of the world
and commit ourselves to being prepared to meet Him
when He comes again to call us to Himself.

Finally, we make ready for His coming into our hearts once again at Christmas
By truly entering into Advent…
by making the most of this season of preparation and expectation…
we prepare our hearts to celebrate Christmas
in a deeper and even more special way.

[PAUSE]
As members of the Mystical Body of Christ…
our Baptism has brought us into relationship with Jesus Christ
and has made us sharers in the mysteries of Christ.

Baptism is a moment of grace…
and it also brings with it commitments and responsibilities.
As baptized people…we should always be found doing our duty.

Doing our duty as Christians means being always prepared…
always ready to meet Christ when He comes again in glory.
We know not the day nor the hour when Christ shall come again…
nor the moment of our own passing from this life.

Our faith demands that…rather being anxious over what may happen…and when…
or trying to discover the future…
we trust in God’s providential care
and strive to live our faith in every moment…
so that whenever Christ comes…
we may be found faithful in our duty to Him.

This is why such things as horoscopes, fortune-tellers, palm-reading, astrology…
and other kinds of divination and clairvoyance…
are so contrary to our Christian faith.
Not only do they place us in spiritual danger…
but these practices by their nature express a complete lack of faith and trust
in God’s plan for our human existence.

We find the meaning of our life…not in cards and leaves and ghosts…
but in our relationship with the one, true God,
who loves us and knows our needs
even before we voice them in prayer.

[PAUSE]
Doing our duty also means being always awake and alert in our faith…
so that we may be prepared to resist the thief…the Devil.


Faith demands that we keep guard over our senses…
which are the entrances to our body and soul.
We must be awake and alert…
aware of what is coming into our bodies and souls through the senses…
lest the Devil come like the thief in today’s Gospel…
and by force make his way into our soul.

And so we avoid those things which present a near occasion of sin for us…
the images we choose to look at
the music we listen to
the company we keep and the conversations we have
the television and movies we watch.

There are those who…in a deliberate way…
try to undermine Christian values through TV and movies and other media.
One such example is a film that will be released this coming Friday…
conveniently on the vigil of the Immaculate Conception.

The movie…titled The Golden Compass…
is based on the first of a series of books by Phillip Pullman…
a self-proclaimed militant atheist.
Pullman himself is quoted as saying
“I am trying to undermine the basis of Christian belief.”

What is unique is that he not only is trying to attack and undermine the Church
and believers’ faith in God…
but he is directing his books and films at children.
The Golden Compass is a children’s movie…
but it is certainly not for the impressionable and innocent.
The story portrays the Church as evil and maniacal.
There is a clear, underlying agenda to influence children in the direction of unbelief
and to plant in young minds subtle lies about God and the Church.

It is more the books that are of concern…
and this first movie only serves to wet the appetite for more.

It is important for parents to be aware
of what is being placed before your children’s eyes and ears.
So I simply encourage parents:
if you are considering taking the family to this movie…
go see it yourselves and be discerning…
before you think about taking your kids.

Doing our duty means fulfilling our obligation to celebrate Mass
on Sundays and Holy Days…
including the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception…
which is celebrated this Saturday.

This year, celebrate Mary’s Immaculate Conception at Mass with us
and watch a wholesome family film at home.
Enjoy precious time with one another.



Doing our duty means praying and witnessing to our faith…
and this week’s bulletin includes information about
an opportunity to do that in a very special way…
by joining in the March for Life in January.

[PAUSE]
Advent is about anxiously awaiting the coming of Christ…
and preparing our hearts and souls to meet him once again.

We shall indeed be prepared for Him…
if we are found enjoying the amazing opportunities our faith allows.

Despite the ominous dark clouds and storms of life…
let us not be fearful…let us stand strong as did the good congressman…
let candles be brought to this wreath as signs of light of hope.

May we remain forever strong in faith
and be always found doing our duty.

1 comment:

TAAD said...

By going to this movie you are helping to money in the pocket of man who said he wants to kill God!