1st Sunday of Advent, Year C

Sunday, December 2, 2018
Fr. Kyle
Homily transcription: 

This time of year, we are regaled by Christmas stories like the Grinch, The Night Before Christmas and all those cheesy Hallmark Christmas movies, not that I watch those or anything…  As we begin the Advent season, we also her the story about Christ and his approaching birth.  Sometimes we treat the whole message of the coming of Christ as just another nice legend or fairytale.  We run the risk of this story of Jesus becoming one among many stories that just make us feel warm and fuzzy inside.  The story of Christ is not just one that we read on a page or see on a screen, it is a story that we are invited to enter into.  As we begin this Advent season, I would propose that we are challenged to be brutally honest with ourselves and there are 2 things we must boldly admit about our lives.    

The first is that our life is ultimately pointless and futile by itself.  As the old saying goes, “life is a… life is hard, and then you die”.  All we do, everything we own, everything we are eventually comes to an end and seemingly makes little difference.  As one of my professors in college used to say, if there isn’t something more to life, then what the heck is the point of getting up in the morning. Our human lives beg for greater purpose and fulfillment. 

Second, we must recognize that the story of God becoming a human being is not just another story or fairytale.  Rather, it shows us who we truly are.  It shows us the potential of our seemingly pointless human lives.  It invites us to greater purpose and fulfillment.  The fact that God chose to become incarnate; the fact that the divine chooses to mingle with humanity shows that it is possible for us human beings to share in God’s divinity.  The “story” of Christ shows us this purpose and fulfillment.  We recognize our fullest capacity in Jesus who shows us what happens when divinity is united to our humanity.  I think I have mentioned before in a homily that one of my favorite prayers during the mass is during the preparation of the altar when the priest or deacon pours a small amount of water in the wine and says, “by the mingling of this water and wine may we come to share in the divinity of Christ who humbled himself to share in our humanity”.  This co-mingling of the human and divine is not just something that happened at Jesus’ birth 2000 years ago.  It is something we are invited to participate in here and now.   

As we begin this season of Advent we read the scriptures and prepare for the birth of Christ; the incarnation of God who became a human being.  But this is not just another story or fairytale like all the others.  It is not something we merely read on a page or see on a screen.  It is a story that we are invited to enter into. As we begin this Advent season we do not just passively wait for the coming of Christ, we are invited to actively enter into the co-mingling of divinity with our humanity.  How we choose to respond to this invitation is up to us.