Advent, Catholicism, Christmas, Homily, Sermon
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On the First Sunday of Advent

Experience tells us that the days after thanksgiving are busy, worrisome, exhausting, mas ocupado and a test of our spending habits. We worry about presents to buy, gifts to wrap, decors to hang somewhere, clothes to wear on parties and places to get affordable items. We do this for a noble reason. We want to please people and would rather join the rush than feel sorry coming into a family party bringing nothing but our appetite.

“Brothers and sisters: May the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, just as we have for you, so as to strengthen your hearts, to be blameless in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his holy ones. Amen. (1 Thess 3: 12-13).”

This weekend, we begin a new liturgical year. It starts with a season called Advent. Purple permeates the altar decorations, however mild. It changed the environment inside the place of worship into a somber mood. The omnipresent K of C at my beck and call, at your service, Father put up the Christmas lights Saturday morning. Otherwise, I probably would have done it with a whining crew. Schedules are hectic and tight and come in no time. Announcements at mass are long and dragging. There’s a lot going on behind the scenes. We’re familiar with the story and have encountered it countless times. It’s different and something profound is about to happen. We look forward to this season as everybody else does. We know it’s coming but asked to wait a few weeks. I just placed an order in Amazon and as always gave me the option to choose the method of delivery. I wanted it rushed as in ahorita en pronto and yet didn’t want to pay extra, ended up clicking super saver obviously due to budget. A ver si es llega en tiempo.

Advent is a time of waiting with joyful expectation for the greatest thing to break into our lives, the unexpected coming of the Son of God made man born in the Manger to be one with us, an event that forever changed the course of human history. The humble birth of Jesus must be the identity and mark of every disciple. This time of waiting can be best described as the excitement of an expectant mother about to give birth to her first-born child. It’s nine months and can’t be rushed. If you do, you run the huge risk of not making it whole as you wanted it to be. Patience is a virtue. Paciencia es una virtud.

A friend con mucha alegria documented and posted every single detail of her encita in fb from day one, the moment she knew she was having a baby, to the baby shower to the ultrasound to the dieting and everything. You can see and feel the excitement- the glow in her face was contagious. She could have been a guest in a morning talk show and broadcast it easily. Only, I didn’t get it. It was a little too much information. But, in hindsight, dar se la cuenta, it was a lesson learned in time. It was Advent for her…waiting with joyful expectation for the birth of something very special in her life, her firstborn…what can you do? Nada…It was a plum…

As the first reading says, “The days are coming when I will fulfill the promise I made to…I will raise up for David a just shoot…He shall do what is right and just in the land…This is what they shall call her: “The Lord our justice…” (Jer. 33: 14-16). The one who is to come will bring peace and justice to his people. The promise of God will be fulfilled.

“Beware that your hearts do not become drowsy from carousing and drunkenness and the anxieties of daily life, and that day catch you by surprise like a trap. For that day will assault everyone who lives on the face of the earth. Be vigilant at all times and pray that you have the strength to escape the tribulations that are imminent and to stand before the Son of Man (Lk 21: 34-36).”

What are you waiting for in this Advent season? Another nice dress to make you look and feel good? A gadget for entertainment and get phased out in the market in a few months? A new spark in your relationship? A higher bonus to pay off the bills? Get rid of your vices and inner struggles? A new sense of direction? A closer relationship with Jesus and commitment to the church? A renewed way of welcoming the birth of Christ in your life, see it through the lens of the sacred scriptures and be at peace with the Lord? perfecto. Amen.


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