30th November / 1st December 2019

posted 2 Dec 2019, 05:21 by Parish Office

Homily for the First Sunday of Advent, Year A (30/11/19 & 1/12/19)


This weekend, November gives way to December.  Our month dedicated to praying for the Holy Souls, our deceased loved ones, draws to a close, and Advent begins.  Thinking of our deceased loved ones reminds us to be prepared for when it is our turn to meet the Lord.  And the message of the first part of Advent is to be prepared, because we don’t know the day or the hour of either our own death, or the return of the Lord.


So in our second reading today, St Paul warns us to make ourselves ready.  It’s time to wake up and put things right.  For some, it might mean reconciling with family or friends.  For others, it might be renewing their commitment to the Lord and spending more time in prayer and making more frequent use of the sacraments.  And there can be other things that might need putting right as well.  St John Henry Newman, who was canonised only recently, said that “to live is to change, and to be perfect is to have changed often”.  Advent is a time for getting out of a rut.  It can be easy to live in a rut, and just let things carry on as before.  No real effort is involved.  Everything is familiar.  There’s no need to re-think things and to change.  It can be boring, but you can get used to it.  And then you resist those irritating people who call you to repent.  Maybe you’re not just uncomfortable with the changes that God might want you to make in your life:  you might positively dread them.  Having to get up earlier in the morning and pray; having to help others a bit more and have less time for yourself; maybe even having to avoid bad company and break off certain relationships.  It might also be that at some point previously, you made efforts to change, to grow and to be a better follower of the Lord.  Now you’ve done what you need to do, and now is the time just to rest.  But do you remember, from when you were a child, the story of the hare and the tortoise?  The hare sped off into the distance and thought he was going to win, and so he went to sleep.  Then, whilst he was asleep, the slow tortoise overtook him and won the race.  Sometimes, it’s better to go at a slower, constant pace, rather than to do things in a frenzy and then get tired.


As we begin Advent, let’s re-examine our lives and see where the Lord is calling us to a deeper conversion.  And maybe if we proceed at a slow, constant pace, the journey might not be too difficult for us.