Homily from Sunday December 12th 2021 – 3rd Sunday of Advent
The great events of history can be roughly divided into two categories: Those that are interesting and nothing much more –and others that are not only interesting but also call for some kind of response.
For example, in 1945 a golfer (Bryan Nelson) won 11 consecutive professional tournaments and no golfer has ever come close to duplicating that feat. That is an interesting bit of history, but none of us are moved to do anything about it.
On the other hand, we know that in 1955, a scientist named Jonas Salk discovered a vaccine that would stop the spread of polio. That bit of history is more than just interesting. It obligated people around the world to immunize their families and to share this vaccine with the rest of the world. And thus this dread disease has been virtually eliminated from the earth. Some great events are merely interesting/other great events are compelling.
Advent belongs to the compelling aspect – it is endlessly fascinating to know that God has come into the world in the person of Jesus, and that he keeps coming into our lives day after day, and this is more than just interesting – it is obligating. The gospel today highlights this aspect of Advent. The people at the Jordan River were captivated by John the Baptist’s message.
But those who truly believed were more than interested. They became involved and felt the need to respond. And this was and still is the appropriate response to the coming of Christ – the greatest event in all of history, God has come to be known by us. We cannot just go on with business as usual, we need to do something.
If in Advent you do not experience Christ here or in your world, your home, or in your Spirit, then do not look for him in the crib at Christmas – you will not find him there. But having God walking with us as a partner and a mentor gives us the opportunity to be in conversation. With simple words like: Lord can you help me with this. OR Help Lord, I can’t do this alone.
We are here together to remember, especially this 3rd week of Advent, to rejoice and not dwell on our fears, because God is always with us and to remember to communicate with God about the real stuff of our lives because Jesus has shown that God cares more than anyone else.
A grandfather was sharing some wisdom with his grandson. He told the grandson that we have two wolves inside us who struggle with each other. One is the wolf of peace and kindness. The other is the wolf of fear and greed. The grandson asked: Which wolf will win Grandfather. The grandfather answered – whichever one we feed.