Saturday, December 02, 2006

Ready? (Sunday homily)

Sometimes the message is pretty simple.
The Lord is coming. Get ready. Stay ready.

That can be hard.

When I was a boy, if we were going out,
mom would get me ready:
all dressed up, clean clothes—
then she’d have other things to do.
Her worry, like all moms?
That while she was finishing getting ready,
I’d wander off and quickly get . . . unready!

Most of us are doing a lot of
"getting ready" these days:
parties, decorations, cards, presents, cookies.

This can be a crazy time of year.
Don’t be afraid to say "No" to some things,
so you can get ready in the best way.

For example, we celebrate a holy day this week.
It would be a shame to miss the opportunity
to thank God for the gift of Mary
who is a mother to us all.

The Church calls us to keep these holy days—
as well as the Lord’s Day—
to help us interrupt the tyranny of the ordinary,
and to stay connected to Eternity, our true hope.

Some of us see movies this time of year.
Can you believe Hollywood actually made
a Christmas movie about…Jesus! Imagine that!

That might be a good way to get ready.
If you see it, don’t forget to use SCRIP!

Christmas is three weeks away;
and when will the Lord return
for the final time?
That, no one knows.

So, be ready.
And maybe look around
for others who aren’t ready.

We all know people
who’ve gotten away from their Faith.
Maybe they were never baptized, or taught,
in the first place.
Maybe they just drifted off.
You can help them "drift" back!

I have a Bible study every Wednesday: Invite them!
Invite them to visit the chapel with you…
Invite them…to the Penance Service next week;
you come, and bring them along!
Help them be ready.

The Lord God came once as a child.
He will come the final time at the end of the world.
In the meantime, he comes through his Church—
us, his holy people—to help us and others be ready.

5 comments:

Mark said...

Thank you father .... a great Advent homily. I'm sure I speak for many who never post when I say that your blog is a source of grace for many of us!!!

Anonymous said...

Hi Father,

I have a question you might be able to answer. You spoke of helping people "drift back" to the Church. I don't know about other people, but honestly MOST of the people I work with or go to school with are fallen away Catholics. They range from their 20s to their 50s. My question is, am I bound on pain of sin to help them back to the Church, and if so, how do I do this? Should I become friends with them first so that it doesn't seem like I'm only interested in getting them back into Church, or should I just ask them out of the blue? I kind of avoid talking about my Faith with people because I can get really preachy pretty quickly, which always turns people off, its a sore subject for many... and, I guess I'm also a bit afraid to go public with my Faith. But, on the other hand, I know I know my Faith, so I could explain it to them, and I know they would ultimately be happier if they came back to the Church. Is there a quick answer to this question, or is the answer a little different for different people?

Thanks in advance!

Anonymous said...

Quick addition:

I also wonder what I should do if I ever try to explain the Faith and the people don't get it. I've learned A LOT about my Faith by studying it intellectually, and it seems like understanding it with one's mind is a prerequisite to actually accepting the Faith and living it. What should I do if the people I talk with don't understand it intellectually? Should I tell stories of people who's lives have changed because of their Faith? Should I encourage them STRONGLY to go to Adoration in the hopes that they'll do it out of curiosity and have a sudden revelation or spiritual experience? I know some of my classmates and friends aren't terribly intellectual, and they could very probably get bored with a lot of theological terms and descriptions. What alternatives are there?

Thanks again :)

Father Martin Fox said...

Gregaria:

Your responsibility is to bear witness; you aren't responsible for how others respond.

It seems to me one can do this many ways; what is most effective is a mystery bound up with what makes each of us unique.

Being a friend, spending time with people, is an essential prerequisite.

Being an authentic Catholic around them makes it far less necessary for you "to be preachy."

Anonymous said...

Fr. Fox:

It sounds like what you're saying is that I have to bear witness, above all, by being a friend and living my Faith. It also sounds like any "witness bearing" I could do beyond that would stem from my own unique personality and gifts and would depend on whether God wanted to use my gifts to that end.

That clarifies a lot. I knew I was supposed to bear witness, I just wasn't sure how.

God bless you and happy Feast of the Immaculate Conception!