ADVENT 1st Sun

From Fr John at St Roberts in Johnston RI – Homily 

One day Little Johnny was lying on a hill on a warm spring day gazing up at the white puffy clouds. Soon he began to think @ God — so he said out loud — God are you up there? To his surprise a voice came from the clouds — Yes Johnny what can I do for you? Seizing the opportunity, Johnny asked: “God what’s a million years like to you?” Realizing that Johnny could fully understand the concept of eternity, God said: “A million years to me  is like 1 minute.” “Oh,” said Johnny, “well then what’s a million $ like to you?” “ A million $ to me is like 1 penny,” said God. “Getting an idea” Johnny said “WOW…God you are so generous could I have one of your pennies?” God replied, “Sure Johnny, no problem, just wait a minute.”

Little Johnny wasn’t quite expecting that answer was he? In that sense it’s a perfect ADVENT story, for this is the Church’s season of waiting and of being ready.

  • Advent reminds us that God’s time & society’s way of measuring time are two very different things.
  • Advent is the Church’s time for walking slowly when others are rushing and speeding all around us .
  • Advent is the Church’s time for traveling lightly when consumers are becoming more burdened with mountains of merchandise.
  • Advent is the Church’s time for eating sensibly when people around us are eating & drinking far beyond common sense.
  • Advent is the Church’s time to focus inwardly to our hearts & our souls—when too many have forgotten the true reason for this season.
  • IN FACT Without Advent its almost impossible for us to find the real Christ of Christmas.

When we become so preoccupied with planning parties or become stressed out with shopping, or writing cards or baking tons of cookies, or decorating our house and yard — we can actually miss the birthday of the Prince of Peace because we are so emotionally & physically over-extended.

When our eyes are dazzled by too much tinsel and too many lights, by too many reindeer, and too many snowmen, we can actually have trouble seeing the simple Star of Bethlehem guiding us to the Savior’s humble stable.

Remember when Christ first came among us He kept it Simple, Silent, And Slow. We are the ones who have turned it UP SIDE DOWN.

When I was a kid my father and I would sometimes go for a walk on Sunday afternoons to see the trains. I remember the signs at the RR crossing with the words: STOP– LOOK– LISTEN.

In a sense the Simple message of Advent invites us to do the same in our lives today.

STOP some of the Madness & craziness of the so called Holiday season….Keep it simple LOOK around at the world with all its needs & beauty, all its people & its struggles and ask ourselves — How will my preparations for Christmas help them experience God’s love in a real way?

LISTEN to Christ’s call in the Gospel to be ready for Him whenever or however He reveals Himself to us today.

STOP — LOOK— LISTEN; Write those words down and put them where you can see them as an ADVENT reminder.

In other words — Pay attention to the deeper values & truths that Advent calls us to.

It’s OK to decorate your yard & home as long as we remember it’s not the Snowman’s B-day we are celebrating. It is Christ for whom we wait to return in glory & love to redeem His people.

Advent reminds us that God has already given us all we need in the Greatest Gift ever — Our savior & our brother Jesus Christ.

Thru Him we can all put aside our fears, our failures and our frustrations — and accept God’s friendship, God’s freedom and God’s forgiveness.

As we begin this Season of Paying Attention — Stop   Look   Listen  &  Keep it simple

Put aside some extra time for Christ each day

(reflection books)

  • Try to attend Mass one other day during the week if  you can
  • Look to see how can help one other person in need
  • And finally ask yourself — What gift will I offer to Christ on C-mas Day?

May we Keep our eyes fixed on Jesus as we begin this season of Advent preparation.