Saturday, November 28, 2015

First Sunday of Advent Year - C 2015

May the peace of Christ Reign in our hearts.

Connecticut is a beautiful state.
In the morning you can hike at sleeping Giant State Park in Hamden and on a summer afternoon you can relax and put your feet in the warm water of the Long Island sound.

I try to hike  on my day off every Friday.
A walk in the woods or up a hill always clears my head and gets my heart pumping.

The last summer when I hiked with my nephew he was amazed at how I could walk up those hills..

Since September things have been pretty busy and so I haven't hiked as much.

The day after Thanksgiving the day after we gorged ourselves
Matt wanted to go hiking again.

I decided to hike up Talcott Mountain in Simsbury.
Usually I can make up without breaking a sweat.

But this time it was really hard for and I even had to stop once on my way up.

When we got to the top Matt (ever the tactful one) looked back at me and said wow Uncle Rob what happened to you, you’re really sucking wind.

I was amazed at how much I have gotten out so shape in just a few weeks. My struggle up that hill was an eye opener.

In today’s gospel Jesus warns us about becoming spiritually complacent or better yet, spiritually out of shape.

He reminds us that unless we are vigilant,
unless we concentrate on being good, holy, generous, people all the time our hearts can become drowsy and spiritually lazy.

Just like I learned that it doesn't take long time to get out of shape physically, it doesn't take long to fall out of shape spiritually either.

When we don’t make it a habit of giving God time it becomes harder and harder to turn our lives around.

When we don't make it a habit of going to confessions it becomes harder and harder to come back to the grace of the sacrament.

Some of you haven’t gone to confession in years and you know you should but the longer you are away the harder it is to get back.

Being honest sometimes I think to myself gee living in Berlin must be like living in Heaven.

One would think there are no sins her by the number of people who go to confessions.

When we don’t place other’s needs before our own it becomes easier and easier to to become self absorbed and even narcissistic.

Many people have simply grown used to seeing other people in need or suffering and feel absolutely no urgency to do anything about it.

And because of all of these things it is so easy to drift away from others and drift away from God.

It is so easy for us to fool ourselves into thinking that we have lots of time.

We reason there's time for holiness, there’s time for God it’s just not now.
I’ll get to it someday when I am old or whatever… just not now.

Because our Church understands our human condition.
she gives us Advent in the hope that even with all the confusion that the Christmas brings we will make an extra effort to stay wake,
and enter deeply into the mystery of God’s love for us.

I don’t know about you but this is my 60th Advent.
Let’s say Advents 1-18 don’t count because I was still growing up.

That means I’ve had 42 advents to amend my life and grow closer to God.
I know I could have done better.

I know that there have been periods of spiritual drowsiness or hyper busyness even in my life as a priest.

We all can do better
This year on this first Sunday of Advent
Let us commit to one concrete thing which will help us to be holier and more generous men and women.

We need to be Men and women willing to to imitate our loving God who chose to be humbly born in a manger because there was not room in the inn.  Amen

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