Sunday, December 7, 2008  “Prepare the way of the Lord.”

Homily, Sunday, December 07, 2008

Fr. Kirity Podila

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Jesus Christ:

Our scripture readings today call upon us to be prepared of God’s coming. The readings from Isaiah: “Prepare the way of the Lord.”  St. Peter: “The day of the Lord is coming like a thief.” The Gospel of Mark: “John the Baptist is saying, “One more powerful than I will come after me; He will baptize in the Holy Spirit.”

We hear the message loud and clear: prepared yourself for the coming of Christ at Christmas. But immediately, I have my excuses. I am too busy; there are so many things to do. The house has to be cleaned. Shopping has to be done. Presents have to be bought. The tree has to be put up and decorated. Food has to be prepared. More food and more cookies have to be baked. Cards have to be written. Greetings have to be sent.

All these things are necessary; all these things have to be done.

We feel weary from all our care and concerns. We feel overwhelmed. How can we prepare the way of the Lord? How can I prepare myself spiritually for Christmas when I have all these other things to do?

We have to listen to John the Baptist. He knew exactly who he was and what role God had given him to play. When they asked him, “Are you the Messiah?”, he answered, “I am not the Messiah.” I am a voice crying in the wilderness: prepare the way of the Lord.”

Reform your lives. Repent for your sins. He was disciplined; he was focused; he was principled. John the Baptist is talking to each one of us. Repent of your sins. We may not like to hear this – no one likes to think of his or her sins. But with some reflection, we all realize that we are sinners. For example, think of how selfish you were earlier today, or yesterday, or lat week. You insisted on doing it your way. You insisted on having your way. You followed your will and you didn’t care who liked it or didn’t like it or who got hurt by it or anything else. It had to be your way.  Or think of how self-indulgent you were with food or drink or some pleasure or some kind of other entertainment. You could not and did not restrain yourself – self-indulgent with cable TA, Internet, football games.

Or think of your language. For some of you it is getting worse every day. And you are doing nothing about it.

Or think of how lazy you are. You do nothing to help anyone anymore. You are just down and out lazy. Or maybe if you stop and think of it, you are drifting away from the Church.  You don’t go as often as you used to. You don’t pray like you used to. In fact, god and religion are disappearing from your life and you are doing nothing about it.

What you need is John the Baptist. You need him in your life. You need to model your life after him. You need his discipline and self-control in your life. You need to rediscover the principles that you used to live by. John the Baptist is speaking to each of us individually when he says reform your lives, repent of your sins. Prepare the way of the Lord. Get our own house in order. Clean up our all.

It is true that we are all busy with many, many things during Advent, but there is one thing we can all do and that is a sincere and honest confession. During Advent, make use of the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Go to confession.

Amen.

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