FRIEND IN CHRIST, DUE TO MY PREACHING COMMITMENTS IN
THE UAE FOR AN ENTIRE MONTH (9TH NOVEMBER TILL THE
FIRST WEEK OF DECEMBER - 2009) A FEW HOMILIES MAY
NOT BE AVAILABLE ON THE HOMILY PAGE. THANKS FOR
UNDERSTANDING. GOD BLESS.
FR. RUDOLF V. D'SOUZA OCD
FIRST SUNDAY IN ADVENT - 2009
WATCHING FOR GOD
To the disciples' delight the Master said he wanted a
new shirt for his birthday. The finest cloth was bought.
The village tailor came in to have the Master measured,
and promised, by the will of God, to make the shirt
within a week.
A week went by and a disciple was dispatched to the
tailor while the Master excitedly waited for his shirt.
Said the tailor, "There has been a slight delay. But, by
the will of God, it will be ready by tomorrow."
Next day the tailor said, "I'm sorry it isn't done. Try
again tomorrow and, if God so wills, it will certainly
The following day the Master said, "Ask him how long it
will take if he keeps God out of it."
Preparation: Some of us prepare for a
journey, others prepare to deliver a speech and many
others who prepare daily for their job, work and do some
assignments to fulfill the expected results. Hence,
during this Advent season we too are requested to
prepare for the coming of the Lord. Well in Europe
preparations for commercial Christmas began three months
ago selling specially the lottery tickets of EL GORDO,
that has a prize money of 25 million Euros. One who wins
will be just not in his/her normal life. One who wins
that lottery will be feeling as it were on cloud 9 or in
heaven already. But this is too worldly; the things of
this world will pass away. But the things that really
matter are Godís kingdom deep within us. Therefore a
preparation would be really justified in order to invite
the Lord into our hearts and to make him the ruler of
some, today's celebration of the First Sunday of Advent
is a reminder that there is less than one month before
the arrival of Christmas. To others, it means that the
rush is on to put twinkling lights around the house, to
buy what is needed for the Christmas pastry cooking, to
shop for presents. And to others yet, it means to make
peace with relatives so all may enjoy a wonderful family
Christmas as Christ intended it to be.
According to the teachings of the Catholic Church,
Advent means three things:
(1) It means to prepare ourselves to be
worthy of celebrating the Christmas anniversary of the
Lord's coming into the world as the incarnate God of
(2) It means that through the Sacrament
of Holy Communion and through grace, we are to prepare
our souls as fitting abodes for the coming of the
(3) It means to prepare ourselves for the
final coming of the Lord as our Judge, either at death
or at the end of the world, whichever may come first.
Today three readings from the Holy Bible prepare us to
be spiritually uplifted according to these three goals
of the Season of Advent.
The First Reading from the Book of Jeremiah, insists
that during the days of the Old Testament, the Lord God
repeated the promises that He had made to Abraham and to
His descendants. [Gen. 22:15-18] To Abraham and his
offspring, God had promised to bless them, that they
would be as numerous as the stars of heaven and as the
sand that is on the seashore. And they shall possess the
gate of their enemies and by his offspring shall all the
nations of the earth gain blessing for themselves.
Over and above this, God was now promising that a
righteous Branch would spring up from the descendants of
King David, the righteous One executing justice and
righteousness in the land. While the Jewish people of
those days took these words as meaning to indicate the
coming of a King and a worldly kingdom, that was not
what God was referring to. He was referring to a
spiritual Kingdom in which Christ, the offspring, [Gal.
3:16] would be the First fruit of many to follow. [1 Cor.
15:20, 23] God was speaking of the spiritual Kingdom
that was promised to Abraham, he who was to become the
spiritual father of all those who live by faith. [Rom.
4:13-8] God was speaking of the Mystical Body of Christ.
For just as the Father has life in Himself, He was going
to grant the Son also to have life in Himself. [Jn.
5:26] Through the mystery of the incarnation, He the
Father who is the Righteous One [Rom. 10:3] was going to
give all authority [Jn. 5:27; 1 Pet. 3:22] to His Son,
the Righteous One who was being called to execute
justice and righteousness in the land. Through the
righteousness of the Lord Jesus, we as the living saints
of the Holy Catholic Church receive our righteousness.
As such, "the Lord is our righteousness." [Jer. 33:16]
Today's Gospel Reading echoes the fulfillment of the
promises of God the Father through the glorious
Resurrection of Jesus Christ. While the Reading appears
to contain prophecies of days that are ahead of us, such
is not the case. Today's passage from the Gospel of Luke
was taken from Chapter 21, verses 25 to 28 and 34 to 36.
One particular verse of importance was omitted, that
being Luke 21:32, where it states, "Truly I tell you,
this generation will not pass away, until all things
have taken place."
Jesus stated that all the signs mentioned during today's
Gospel Reading were to be fulfilled before the passing
away of the generation that lived in His days. As such,
the signs that He was giving to His followers have to be
perceived as representative of the ending of the age of
the Old Testament and the beginning of the new age, when
the New Covenant was made during the Last Supper.
Saint John states it, "But there are also many other
things that Jesus did; if every one of them were written
down, I suppose that the world itself could not contain
the books that would be written." [Jn. 21:25] While the
Holy Bible does not tell us everything that happened
after the Resurrection of Jesus, there is sufficient
information provided in other passages to tell us that
these things have come to pass.
reference is made in the Holy Bible to "the powers of
the heavens will be shaken." tradition tells us that
this is a reference between the great battle between
Archangel Michael and Satan, at which time Satan was
casted out of Heaven. [Lk. 10:18; Rev. 12:7-10]
subject that "Christ redeemed us," [Rom. 3:24; Gal.
3:13; Eph. 1:7] that truth is made known to us through
the teachings of the Catholic Church and our ongoing
profession of faith.
Regarding seeing the Son of Man coming in a cloud with
power and great glory, when Jesus called Nathanael as a
follower, He told him, "Very truly, I tell you, you will
see Heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and
descending upon the Son of Man." [Jn. 1:51] We can only
accept as truth that this came to pass as Jesus promised
to Nathanael because Jesus is the truth. God cannot lie.
[Tit. 1:2;] No falsehood is found in Him. [Heb. 6:18]
Today's Gospel Reading tells us to be on our guard so
our hearts are not weighed down with dissipation and
drunkenness and the worries of this life, so the day of
the Lord will not catch us unexpectedly, as in a trap.
No one knows when he will die! No one knows when he will
appear before the Lord God to be judged for his worldly
behaviour! As such, no one can prepare himself as one
prepares himself to go on a holiday.
Therefore, Divine wisdom tells us that we should always
be prepared! We should immediately be prepared in case
the Lord calls us tonight during our sleep. Before our
bedtime tonight, if anything needs to be done, it must
be completed. For there may be no tomorrow.
Today's Second Reading from the First Letter to the
Thessalonians gives us sound advise as to how we should
prepare ourselves. Which ever comes first, that we
depart from this world before the final return of the
Lord Jesus or He gloriously returns with His saints on
the last day, either way, we should abound in love for
one another and for all. Our love should not be limited
to our friends, but also for our enemies. Our love
should not be limited towards those we are talking to,
but also towards those we are not talking to. Our love
should not be limited to those we can forgive, but also
towards those we have difficulty forgiving. "For with
the judgment you make you will be judged and the measure
you give will be the measure you get." [Mt. 7:2]
fully prepared, we must have holy hearts so we will be
blameless before our God and Father. To achieve this
goal, we must walk with the sanctifying Holy Spirit who
disciplines us to increase our holiness. We must
maintain pure minds at all time. We must receive the
Sacrament of Confession to maintain our ongoing
righteousness by the grace of God. We must receive the
Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist, the Living Bread, so we
will qualify to inherit the eternal Heavenly Kingdom as
children of God. We must do all what is humanly possible
to continually remain in communion with God on a daily
knowing when the coming of the Lord shall be for each
and everyone of us, we must persevere in our living
faith. Indebted to Christ for our redemption, we cannot
allow ourselves to take a break from our living faith.
For a shipwreck in our faith by allowing our human
nature to take over our spiritual commitment could cost
us our blessed hope among the saints and angels in the
continuous presence of the Lord Jesus and the Blessed
Through the Sacrament of Baptism, we received the gift
of a new heart and a new spirit, over and above the
indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit to help us and
guide us in our spiritual lives. During the coming week,
let us embrace a spiritual attitude so the Season of
Advent may become something special for us. May Advent
be a true moment of preparation for each and everyone of
us in the expectation of the coming of Jesus at
Christmas, at death, or at the last coming of the Lord,
which ever may come first.