Dec. 3rd. First Sunday of Advent B

Introduction

Advent’s a wonderful time, we prepare for the most amazing event in history, the birth of our Saviour. Out of the blue God trust this extraordinary surprise on us. In the darkness of a fallen world the fire of the Christ child blazed and lit up the earth. Lets prepare for his coming this Christmas with joyful hearts..

Homily

Whats the most beautiful thing in the world. Surely it must be the first cry of a new born child. For each new baby means freshness, innocence, wonder, hope. A new and unique being has entered our sinful world. Its cry offers renewal and hope for the future, new love for jaded and often spiritually stale souls.

No wonder then that the church, after ending its year with remembrance of the dead, calls us at the beginning of the new year to prepare for a birth. This is great. For if each birth in this world is a wonder, how much more so is the birth of the son of God. For us Christians that birth isn’t a one off; it occurs again and again in the miracle that is the church year.

Parent’s prepare excitedly for their first born. In the same way the church asks us to prepare for the Christ child by being reborn in Spirit. The candle we light in the wreath asks us to cast off the night of evil and shine for Him. Thats what Advent’s about, renewal, rebirth, for us, the church, the world. A birth envigorates parents. The Christ child’s birth should recall us to baptismal joy and commitment, to revitalized prayer, living of Christian values, rejection of sin, and new witness for God.

Christ in today’s Gospel describes this as becoming spiritually awake. Every so often we need to rise from the sleep of sin and death that the old man of the world lulls us into. So that when the lord comes we’ll be ready. The hymn puts it well: “Awake from your slumbers, arise from your sleep/A new day is dawning/For all those who weep”. That’s what we’re to do in this end-of-year, rise above depressing weather and cold despair. Baby Jesus should inspire us to leave our inner Winter and bloom like Spring roses. For human hearts locked in mediocrity can become dark and cold. I was in the school during the week and a child in a class put it very well. I was asking why holy communion. I said without this food from God we grow thin and weak. “Yes”, said the child, “and we fall down”. He’s right, without life in God Satan grabs us and drags us deep into the mire until we face soul death. So we need times like Advent. Times of renewal, prayer, and confession to pick ourselves up off the floor where the prince of lies would keep us. Christ’s baby cry at Christmas should lift us from that dark, enables us to shine our inner shoes again, his spirit reborn in us. One carol puts this well: “cast out our sin and enter in, be born in us today”. And if Christ is born in us there will be spring joy for us, for the church, for the world.

Each child’s cry brings hope. Christ birth is infinite hope. Advent recalls us to shine up our buttons with Brasso as the jingle says. For now is the acceptable time, the day of salvation. While the godless world would leave us in a winter world forever, the Christ child is lord of ever new life for our deep happiness in this world and forever and ever amen…

So as God’s people, called to renew our inner life this advent to prepare for Christ’s coming now and at the end of time, we make

our profession of faith with fresh enthusiasm..

Prayers of the faithful

For our holy Father, the Pope, and all the leaders of the church that they may preach the infinite value of human renewal unto glory in Christ this Advent and always..

For civil leaders that they may promote the spiritual as well as material renewal of those in their care this new year..

For our youth that they may make this advent a times of deep renewal in the spirit of the Lord, and so come to a Christmas of great inner glory, peace and joy…

For ourselves in our homes this Advent that we may not neglect the spiritual dimension of our preparation for Christmas, that just as the birth of each of our children was a wonder and a joy so the birth of our eternal Lord may bring us great joy..

For the sick, the aged, the lonely and the poor this Advent, that through our contributions and loving outreach they may know the deep joy of Christmas as never before..

For the dead that born to new life at Christmas, they may through our prayers come to the dazzling glory of their heavenly home, a glory prefigured by the lights and glitter of Christmas..

And we ask this through Christ, born for us in a humble stable and interceding for us forever before the Father in heaven, amen.

Reflection

I’m sure if the Christ child was born in our modern world, to a single mother, as he was then, that he would probably be aborted in the womb. I read recently how in China a child born out of the state’s one child policy is automatically aborted. Its a terrible prospect, but that’s the reality of our modern world. Lets not be totally brain-washed by such values, but appreciate the infinite value of each child in the womb. Each is a sacred being from God with a potential to be a new Christ to the world. Lets pray for the vulnerable children in the world of today…Hail Mary

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