Fr. Mike’s Homily for the 1st Sunday of Advent Year C (4)

Fr. Mike’s Homily for the 1st Sunday of Advent Year C

Theme: Hold on to Jesus!

By: Fr. Mike Lagrimas
St. Michael the Archangel Parish
Diocese of Novaliches


Homily for Sunday November 28 2021

Lk 21:25-28, 34-36

We are now in the new liturgical year, and this is the first Sunday of Advent. The Season of Advent is a period of four Sundays in preparation for Christmas. But the readings are not talking about chestnuts roasting on an open fire and Santa Claus coming to town or Christmas decorations and parties. Rather, they are talking about the horrible events of the end-times. In the Gospel, Jesus describes the events with clarity: the terrifying signs in the sun, the moon and the stars, the roaring of the sea and the waves, and people will die of fright. Some of us may even wonder: Is Jesus such a killjoy who likes to spoil the fun?

The Gospel, far from spoiling the fun, sets everything in proper perspective. St. Luke is not intending to terrify us with such cataclysmic words. He is just stating the truth and reality of our earthly existence: everything in this world is passing. Nothing is permanent. This world and everything in it is passing. Our life, our body is passing. Rather than frighten us, these words bring hope. In the face of the fragility and contingency of life and of the whole world, Jesus, the Son of Man will come “in a cloud with power and great glory.” “When these signs begin to happen, stand erect and raise your heads because your redemption is at hand” (Lk 21:28).

The message is quite clear. Placing our hopes on anything in this world will surely leave us disappointed. And this is what is truly frightening: to face all these tribulations without God, and to place everything entirely in the hands of man.

Let us therefore look up to Jesus. In the midst of all these passing realities, He is our only assurance and hope for eternity and fullness of life. Hence, Jesus admonishes us: “Be vigilant at all times and pray that you have the strength to escape the tribulations that are imminent and to stand before the Son of Man” (Lk 21:36-38).

Tribulations, troubles, and disasters are already here. These are clear signs of how unreliable our earthly existence is and how limited these worldly realities are. But we must be vigilant and pray that despite all these, we will still be able to stand before the Son of Man and be saved. Becoming too absorbed in worldly anxieties, being intoxicated with our selfish ambitions and thirst for power, being immersed in fleeting pleasures and luxury are clearly not the proper ways to “be able to stand before the Son of Man.”

Unfortunately, this is exactly what people are into. Pope Benedict XVI is well too aware of this sad situation. He concluded that “the crisis we are living through carries with it signs of the exclusion of God from people’s lives, a general indifference to the Christian faith, and even the intention of marginalizing it from public life” (May 30, 2011). Jesus referred to this when he said, “But when the Son of Man returns, will he find faith on earth?” (Lk 18:8).

This is the reason behind the Pope’s decision a decade ago to declare the Year of Faith, which is intended to be a time of renewed commitment and turning to God, reinforcing our faith in God, and proclaiming the Good News of God’s love with joy to our contemporary society.

The Advent Season is a time for preparation: for Christmas, for the passing of things, and for our own death. The readings are not spoilers; they are reminders. They remind us that everything is passing, and so let us look up to Jesus. He is our sure refuge and salvation. And if we remain faithful and obedient to Him, we are assured of eternal happiness and glory.

As we begin the Advent Season, let it be our firm resolve to heed seriously the call of St. Paul in the second reading: love one another more than ever, conduct yourselves to be pleasing before the Lord, and to be blameless in His sight (1Thes 3:12).

Fr. Mike Lagrimas
St. Michael the Archangel Parish
Diocese of Novaliches

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