This homily is based on Matthew 24:37-44 for the First Sunday of Advent.
For many of us these days, despair is a real temptation. Some of us have actually sworn to keep away from our newsfeed and just get ourselves inebriated in premature Christmas carols. Can the news in the country, in the US, and in the world get any worse? And I don’t know about you, but today’s Gospel, which opens the season of Advent, is no help as far as lifting our spirits is concerned.
This homily, based on Luke 1:26-38, was delivered at the English Martyrs’ Parish.
There is one character who has worked very hard behind the scenes for Christmas. We hear about this character during Advent, and he shows up at least a couple more times at Christmas, but given all the many things going on at Christmas, we understandably don’t get to shine the spotlight too often on him. I am, of course, referring to the angel Gabriel. Continue reading THE BUSIEST ANGEL OF CHRISTMAS
This homily, based on Matthew 1:18-25, was delivered at the Simbang Gabi for the Filipino community at Charing Cross Hospital Chapel.
In today’s Gospel story, we have the angel of God appearing to Joseph in a dream. By this time Joseph has already discovered Mary’s pregnancy, and he knows the child cannot be his. Joseph never says a single word in the entire gospel, but we can imagine how heartbroken he must have been. Continue reading THE QUIET ART OF LETTING GO
This event in the life of John the Baptist sounds like it’s more than a simple press conference. Here we have him interviewed successively by priests and Levites, as well as Pharisees. All of them interrogate him about who he is: “Are you the Christ? Are you Elijah? Are you the Prophet?”
The Baptist takes this opportunity to clarify who he is and who he is not, correcting the misconceptions about him. He is not the Christ–nor is he Elijah, nor the Prophet. He is but “the voice crying out in the desert,” to prepare the way for the Christ. Continue reading THE TEMPTATION OF THE BAPTIST
First to appear on the Advent stage is the familiar but disturbing figure of John the Baptist, the so-called “forerunner and messenger of the Lord.”
We’ve met this guy before: We’ve read about the announcement of his birth before his cousin’s. Yes, that other Annunciation where things didn’t exactly go well: His father Zechariah understandably thought himself and his wife way beyond the age limit for biological parenthood, the angel uncharacteristically lost his cool, and poor Zechariah consequently went speechless for virtually nine months. His prophet son, of course, eventually more than made up for that long silence.
This homily for the first Sunday of Advent is based on Isaiah 63:16ff, 1 Cor 1:3-9, and Mark 13:33-37.
Today is the First Sunday of Advent, and so we light the first of four candles in our Advent wreath.
When you think about it, the season of Advent is really quite underrated, but after all, what do you expect from something that comes right before Christmas–and naturally pales in comparison to it? Yet the Church in her centuries’ worth of wisdom has thought it important that before we rush and celebrate the birth of our Lord, it’s worthwhile to spend some time–in fact, four weeks–just to prepare for Christmas. Continue reading PREPARING TO MEET THE EXTRAORDINARY AND THE ORDINARY
There’s something strange about our Gospel reading today. Did you notice what was wrong with the picture?
We’re supposed to be in the season of Advent, preparing for Christmas. And when we say Christmas, we think of such familiar characters like the angels proclaiming good news, shepherds leaving their flock to check out the baby Jesus, and wise men following stars and bearing gifts. These are feel-good characters and what is Christmas if not the season for feeling good? Continue reading KILLJOY (Matthew 3:1-12): 05 December 2010 (2nd Sunday of Advent)