Homily December 22, 2013 Fourth Sunday of Advent

Posted in christian, Christianity, church events, ecclesiology, inspirational, religion, scripture by Fr Joe R on December 17, 2013

If we look back in our country we can see that every generation had the desire to pass on a good life, a better life to their children with opportunities surpassing their own time. They wanted education and better jobs for their children and grandchildren. Many of us have heard the stories of the great depression and the world war II, followed by the baby boom and onward to the present. Common to all these times was the fear of bringing children into a world that was a mess. There was violence, hatred, wars, poverty, homeless, prejudice, people who just couldn’t make it, the high cost of living and of course the cost of educating their children. It would seem that as we get older we become less bold and lose faith that God is with us and those other things are there simply because it is part of humanity. Such is the gospel today. joseph and angelJoseph is a kind man who is betrothed to Mary and finds out she is pregnant. Imagine a young man of any time getting married suddenly finding out his intended spouse is pregnant much less than the fact that it is not his child. I have known potential grooms who ran like jackrabbits and the child was their own, but they couldn’t accept or were not prepared to be a husband and father. Joseph was a devout Jew and compassionate. As was common in his culture he did not want to claim a child not his own. A divorce was a polite way to step aside and allow the real father to arrange an appropriate marriage. Once again we see God intervene, for man’s ways are not His way. Joseph is approached in a dream, confirming what Mary told him and in his faith to accept this child with Mary as his own and name him Jesus, Emmanuel, God is with us. And there, I think, is the point today to consider. As messed up and depressing and painful the world is today, God is with us. He never promised us it would be easy, or painless, or even happiness. He called us to be involved, to walk with him, to minister, to be there.child in crib Can we expect more, when Christ at the moment of triumph called out “My God, My God why have you abandoned me?” I must admit there are many moments of happiness and satisfaction in ministry and service, but hard times come and the constant reminder of God is with us makes it all tolerable. Christmas is special because it is appealing. Who does not love an infant? A child represents all the hopes and aspirations that are at the core of our very selves. Christ’s message goes out people in a way are different, if for only a little time. The poor get food and gifts and people seem a bit kinder. These next days we put aside the worries and cares and pains of everyday life and focus on those we love. We give presents and share our time off. But may I suggest that the greatest thing you could give would be yourself to someone during these times who is in pain or distress. Seek out comfort someone who needs a touch, a friend to hear and see and most importantly share and embrace. Could that not really mean Christ is with us, Emmanuel our special gift?

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