If you were here back in mid-August, on the 19th Sunday of Ordinary time, you heard me begin my homily by saying:
The reason we have the Bible, and the Eucharist, and the other Sacraments. . . The reason we have faith at all - and come here week after week to nourish our faith - is because God loves us. And God wants to be in a relationship with us.
A relationship that God does not want to force us into in anyway – but one that we freely embrace and nurture.
For those of us old enough to remember the Baltimore Catechism – question 6 was: Why did God create us?
The answer: God made us to know him, and to serve him in this world, and to be happy with God forever in the next.
God loves us. And God wants to be in a relationship with us – and so God is continually revealing to us who God is and what God’s love is like – so that we come to know God, so as to serve God by building the kingdom in our midst - and so that we will enjoy eternal life.
This whole process is what we mean by REVELATION: God allow us to get to know him by revealing to us who God is and what God’s love is like.
As the 2nd Vatican II document on Divine Revelation states: God wants nothing less than that we come to know God fully: to know God’s constant love for us, to understand God’s unfathomable faithfulness and to experience these things in our lives.
Revelation is all that God wants to say to us, whisper to us, shout at us, sing to us, and breathe in us.
The ultimate form of God’s revelation is when God sent Jesus to live among us: the one who walked the earth; who taught us how to love, forgive, and be compassionate and merciful; the one who said:
come, follow me: the one who took on our flesh when he was born in Bethlehem - the one we await to come in glory.
God ultimately reveals to us who God is - and how much God loves us –in the person of Jesus Christ. Which gives us a slight problem I think we need to deal with –
Sometimes we are so focussed on the Jesus that came to us – the one born in Bethlehem – the one whose birth we are preparing to re-celebrate at Christmas –
And sometimes we are so focussed on the Jesus who is going to come again in glory – the one who is going to separate the sheep from the goats depending on how well we met the needs of the least of our brothers and sisters –
That we forget about the Jesus who is coming to us now –
In our reading of scriptures, in our celebration of the Mass, in our time spent in prayer, in the wonders of nature; the one whose face we should see in our family members, our friends, those who gather with us here, or those in our neighborhoods or the needy halfway around the world — and many, many times – in the faces of complete strangers.
Jesus comes to us now – God is continuing to reveal who God is and how much God loves us – through Jesus – each and everyday – and
that’s why we need to be watchful and alert – for we do not know when the Lord will come to us. We don’t want to be sleeping, or distracted, or looking for meaning in what the world offers us – when we are being offered a relationship with the true and living God.
And so we want to pay attention to the messengers of God’s love that come to us every day.
We want to pay attention to how God might be calling us to be a messenger of God’s love to others.
And how all we have to do is be able to echo Mary’s words: may it be done to me according to your word.
So what I say to you, I say to all: WATCH!
And may there be a longing in your heart to recognize God’s revelation – to joyful receive God’s revelation – and to generously respond to God’s revelation.
Have a great Advent!
Moments in time...