Sunday, November 27, 2016

1st Sunday of Advent - Year A - 2016

This Thanksgiving as usual I invited my whole family from Poughkeepsie and their friends to the Friary for Thanksgiving Dinner. They told me 20 were coming but as usual with the Schlageters things got mixed up and 14 showed up.

To get ready for Turkey Day I spent Sunday afternoon and Tuesday shopping and I ran into half the parish in stop and shop.

On Wednesday I peeled potatoes and made all the side dishes,
at night I prepped the Turkeys and collapsed in my chair.

Thursday everything went in the oven and I set dining room in the Church Hallt.

Ladies I don’t know you do it.
I don’t know how you face Thanksgiving day year after year and make it seem so simple and effortless.

Suffice it to say when Friday morning rolled around and my 5:00 am alarm went off I hit the snooze button, then I hit it again, and again and again

To be honest  I really don’t know how many times I hit that snooze button but and when I finally when I looked at the clock I was almost late for the 8:00 AM Mass at Sacred Heart.

If  by chance make an illegal right turn on red from Main Street to Farmington Ave, and then hit the 6 signals just right, you can make it to Sacred Heart in 7 minutes. That was my Black Friday lesson this year. It’s possible.

On the first Sunday of Advent the Church always calls on us to reflect on the end times or our final judgement.

All of human beings, all of us will one day stand before God and be judged.
We will be judged by how we lived and how we loved.

Today’s readings invite us to focus on the final judgement,
not to frighten us Or to make us feel vulnerable,
but rather to remind us that this life is not all there is and our destiny is to be with God forever.

In the first reading that’s what the prophet Isaiah paints a picture what life in convenant with God is supposed to be and then he begs them to forsake their worldly, unfaithful ways, and walk in the light of the Lord

Lest one day they be judged for their infidelity

Paul in the second reading echoed Isaiah’s words with his own wake-up call to the Romans and to each one of us when he says….

Brothers and sisters:
it is the hour now for you to awake from sleep.
For our salvation is at hand;
the night is far spent, the day draws near.
Let us then throw off the works of darkness
and put on the armor of light.

In the Gospels Jesus continues the same theme and reminds us over and over again that there will be a final judgement.

In the passage we heard from Matthew today he practically begs us to be ready for that moment when we will stand before God.

We never really know when death will knock on our door.
We never know when our hour of judgement will come.
You see that’s the essential tension for everyone who follows Christ:
We are all called to live the present moment to provide for our families and be contribute to common good.

But at the same time we are also called to prepare for our final destiny in heaven.

One of the greatest temptations in life is to keep hitting the snooze button over and over again and never really making an effort
to address our faults and to grow in holiness.

All of us, every single one of us are sinners and all of us  have something that needs to be changed in order to be ready for the final judgement that all we will face.

And so good people this Advent encourages us to reflect on our lives.
stop hitting the snooze button, and change what we need to change in ourselves.

Sadly experience has shown that we just never know how many more tomorrows we will really have.

Let us take to heart the words of Jesus who said in the Gospel

You too must also must be prepared,
for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come.”