2nd Sunday of Advent Homily 8 December 2019

Holy ADVENTure

  This Second Sunday of Advent we continue our faith journey in anticipation and preparation for our coming King and Savior, Jesus.  We are in the midst of ADVENT.  This word, well used and familiar, contains a lesson in both its meaning and as affirmed in the Bible readings for this day.

  ADVENT from the Latin Adventus: a coming approach, arrival…of the Savior.  It is actually linked to another word with which we are even more familiar:  ADVENTURE, again from the Latin, Adventura: A remarkable occurrence to happen, reached through risk and danger. 

These simple words lead us to look to our VENTURES of ADVENT.  Will we join with the Spirit of God to to guide us in our Ventures of Advent to more fully meet and know Jesus our King and Savior? If so may we follow God in…

  THE SPIRIT of ADVENT… Our Old Testament reading from the Prophet Isaiah speaks of the profound promise of the Messiah,  Jesus to come from the Jesse, father of King David.  In this promise we see how the Messiah will come in the fullness of the Holy Spirit.  This applies to both the first, the Incarnational coming of Emmanual, God with us.  And it equally applies to the return, the second coming of Jesus.  The prophet John in the Book of Revelation strongly instructs the Church that we need be a people listening and obeying the Word the Spirit speaks to the Church.  This holy venture of the people of God to and with God must and can only be walked in the power of God’s Holy Spirit.  It is as we are empowered and lead by God’s Holy Spirit we will see our journey takes us to the Places of Advent.

  THE PLACES of ADVENT… Clear and consistent is the path and places of a Spirit led and filled Advent.  In a word it is to the place of wilderness.  Whether we look to the journeys of the Hebrew people or the life of John the Baptist and the early testings of Jesus there was a common place…the wilderness.  What does this tell us?  Creation is essential as a place to meet and follow God.  In the austere beauty of the desert the Old Testament people of God met with and realized the exquisite and awesome power of our Holy God.  And it was in the gentle breeze, pounding rains or green pastures they learned to follow the Shepherd of souls.  The Places of Advent  will see us brought from the noise and lights of the world to the quiet and strength of the woods, the flowing brook and the birds singing in praise to God.  They would teach us that we too are to simply seek and praise God in our hearts and in our songs and thoughts..   The place of Advent is also a place of SIMPLICITY.  Scripture recounts how the coming of Jesus in the stable or His return as King of Kings will be first welcomed by those least encumbered with the excess, the stuff and cares of this world.  There is no APP for your cell phone that will truly help you walk your ventures of Advent.  In fact the Holy Spirit may lead you to turn off your phone, your tablets and computers, even for brief periods to help you prepare for Jesus.  As we journey in the places of Advent we will meet and share with other pilgrims seeking the King who is to come.

  THE PEOPLE of ADVENT… St. John the Baptist, preparing the way of the Lord made it very clear.  Anyone seeking to be ready for the coming King must be a person of faith and repentance.  Our Ventures of Advent will calls us to at times risk, with courageous faith, and turn in holy love to steps of obedience that will bring us closer to our Lord.  This quest is one that will not cease until we meet He who is to come.  For may be great the tests, the dangers that we will confront as we walk with each other, in His Spirit.  There are many other attribute that will mark an Advent people.  But one in particular St Paul mentions in our second reading:    Welcome one anther, then, as Christ welcomed you…”.   If we are walking in His Spirit, if we are filled with God’s Spirit we will be a welcoming people.  Setting aside our fears and prejudices, doubts and wounds we will seek to see each other, and Jesus sees us.

“The nearer one gets to God, the simpler one becomes.” ~ St. Therese of Lisieux