YEAR C: HOMILY FOR THE 1ST SUNDAY OF ADVENT
HOMILY THEME: REDEMPTION IS AT HAND…..”Pray, that you may be able to stand before the son of Man”
BY: Fr. Antoni CAROL i Hostench
Today, as we start a new liturgical year, we renew our zeal and our personal struggle with our sights set on sanctity, ours and that of everybody else. The Church itself calls on us to do so, reminding us in today’s Gospel, of the need to be always at the ready, always “in love with” our Lord: «Be on your guard; let not your hearts be weighed down with a life of pleasure, drunkenness and worldly cares lest that day catch you suddenly as a trap» (Lk 21:34).
We mustn’t overlook a very important detail for those who are in love: this attitude of being alert —of being ready— cannot be intermittent , but has to become a permanent way of life. This is why, our Lord says to us: «But watch at all times and pray» (Lk 21:36). At all times!: this is the right measure of love. Fidelity is not made on the basis of “sometimes yes, sometimes no”. It is, therefore, very important that the pace of our pious and spiritual formation be regular (day by day and week by week). If only we could live every day of our life with a new “first time” mentality; if only, every morning —when waking up— we would manage to say: —Today, I’m born again (thanks be to God!); today, I’m Christened again; today, I’m making my First Communion again; today, I’m getting married again… To persevere cheerfully, one has to “restart all over again”, to renew oneself.
In this life we’re not here forever. There will come a day when «the forces of the universe will be shaken» (Lk 25:26). Good reason to be alert! But, in Advent, the Church gives us a lovely basis for joyous preparation: unquestionably, one day, men «will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory» (Lk 25:27), but meanwhile, God arrives on Earth meekly and with discretion; as a new-born child, to the point that «Christ could be seen, wrapped in swaddling clothes, in a feeding trough» (Saint Cyril of Jerusalem). Only an alert spirit could discover in this Infant the magnitude of God’s love and salvation (cf. Ps 84:8).
Fr. Antoni CAROL i Hostench (Sant Cugat del Vallès, Barcelona, Spain)