1st Sunday of Advent Yr C

Lk 21, 25-28; 34-36

As we ponder on the scripture readings about the end times, today we celebrate a New Liturgical year.  The season of Advent.  So, Happy New Year to you all.  We have just lit our first candle on the Advent wreath, a symbol of ‘Hope’ for the weeks ahead. 

In today’s Gospel reading, the key line that stood out for me was:

“They will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.”

For us as believers it will be a sight to behold.  Just imagine it.  The Lord who we love and adore, the Lord we worship every time we go to Mass, Jesus is coming again in power and great glory to bring us home with him.  But Jesus will not come alone, there will be the Hosts of Angels and the Saints.  At Christmas we will hear how the Host of Angels, told the Shepherds the Good News about the birth of Jesus.  So, just imagine again in your minds, what that might look like.  The ‘Host of Angels’ which are all the Angels in heaven descending upon us, thousands upon thousands.  Another magnificent sight. 

With this in mind, let us add Jesus to the scene, as He descends on a cloud towards us.  And what does scripture tell us to do during this time?  We are told not to run away or to hide, but to stand erect, hold our heads high.  Be proud to be called Christians, be proud to be different, be proud in proclaiming the Good News from the mountain tops. 

It was for this very reason, I wanted to become a priest.  I wanted to help prepare the way for the Lord, for His second coming.  We do not know the time or the hour, only the Father knows, but the time will appear like a trap.  We have to be ready and waiting.  We have all heard the passage in scripture when Jesus will come and divide the people’s on the last day.  The sheep on His right who are destined for Heaven, and the Goats on His left.  When I heard this, I wanted to make sure the number on His right were greater than the goats on His left. 

But how do we prepare ourselves for the Lord’s coming?

This season of Advent will help us to do this; it is like Lent.  Both seasons have similar liturgical colours.  Advent is Violet, and Lent is Purple.  These deep colours have the meaning of penance and preparation.  

We are preparing ourselves to receive the ‘Word made flesh, who dwelt amongst us’, Jesus Christ, the Son of Man, coming from heaven to the earth as a baby boy, born in Bethlehem, a branch from tribe of David. 

So, don’t be too keen to start celebrating Christmas just yet, delay putting the tree up and the Christmas decorations.  We need to step back and wait, prepare yourselves first, in watchful and active waiting, through daily prayer and love of neighbour.  Come to daily Mass, receive regular confession, and give to charity.  Devote yourselves more deeply in the participation of the Mass.  Sing from the roof tops, and ‘go announce the Gospel of the Lord’, which is one of the dismissal announcements the priest or deacon says at the end of Mass.  Instructing us to ‘pass on’ what we have heard in Church and to spread the Good News to the outside world.

In this season of Advent, remain Hopeful, God comes to us in every situation, he comes to dwell amongst us, to live with us, and within us.  He comes to fill the gaps that divide and separate us, he comes to reconcile us with himself and with one another.  He comes into our human history to knock at the door of every person of good will, brings gifts of harmony, peace and love. 

Remain hopeful in the Lord Jesus, stand erect, hold your heads high, because the Son of Man is coming in a cloud with power and great glory

Our Lady of Walsingham – 24th Sept 2021 – Oscott Homily

Homily – Our Lady of Walsingham – John 19, 25-27

“The disciple made a place for her in his home.” What comes to mind when you hear the word ‘home’.  A place of safety, a place to relax, a place where family and loved ones are present.

While Jesus was hanging on the cross, He gave his mother to the beloved disciple, in order to keep her safe especially from the Roman authorities.  But John’s Gospel goes deeper than that, the Greek translation of the verb is to ‘receive’.  The beloved disciple receives the mother of Jesus into his home.  In these words, from the cross, Jesus reveals the spiritual relationship among himself, his mother, and the beloved disciple, as the family of God.  If the beloved disciple shares spiritually in Jesus’ own life as the Son, then he also has Mary for his spiritual mother.  As Eve became the mother of all the living, the second Eve – Mary becomes the mother of all believers.

Today is the memorial of Our Lady of Walsingham, a place where many of us have visited on pilgrimage in recent days, and over the years.  We can picture the location where the Holy House was located before it was destroyed. 

It was Lady Richeldis, a holy woman, a lady of faith, with a great love for Mary, asked Our Lady for a way to honour her.  It was from this desire in her heart that the events of Walsingham unfolded. 

While she was in prayer and in meditation, the Virgin Mary led her in Spirit to Nazareth, to show her the house of the Annunciation, asking her to build a replica in Walsingham as a perpetual memorial.  It would be a place where people could come to honour her Son, remembering especially Mary’s joyful ‘yes’ to the Angel Gabriel.  For the Word became flesh and dwelt amongst us.  That house in Nazareth would become the boyhood home of the Son of God himself.  A home, a place of safety, and a place of love.

May we keep a place for Jesus and Mary in our hearts daily, while pondering on Mary’s ‘yes’ at the Annunciation. 

We are here now, due to our ‘yes’ living at St. Mary’s College, our house of brotherly love and fraternity, with our fellow seminarians and lecturers.  But more importantly with our brother, Jesus Christ, all of us living under the protection of Our Mother, the Queen of Heaven.

Our Lady of Walsingham – Pray for us.

Oscott, Welcome back.

Arrived back to St. Mary’s college Oscott today. I am part of the welcome team to help with the arrivals of the new first years who are arriving tomorrow afternoon.

I also start my last year at Oscott, placing me at the top of the house in Year 6. I have to set a good example to everyone else. Wish me luck.

Please keep me and my fellow seminarians in your prayers. God bless.