Theme: Signs and Omens
The Walls of Jerusalem
By: Rev. Bill Frere
Homily for Sunday November 28 2021
Gospel – Luke 21:25-28, 34-36
Years ago one of my best friends passed away after a long and painful battle with cancer. On that last day, his wife called me from the hospital and asked me to pick up their 3 little girls from school and bring them to say their last goodbyes. Needless to say, it was a difficult drive and a painful conversation. After we arrived, we all gathered around his bedside and said prayers and farewells as he slowly took his last breath. Did we know that day was coming? Of course! Were we prepared? Hardly! Are we ever really and fully prepared?
Ending are hard no matter the circumstances. Some endings we know are coming. We see the signs and we can either prepare for them as best we can or we can choose to ignore and deny the inevitable. Other endings take us completely unawares, like my Dad’s passing. It comes out of nowhere and hits us like a lightning bolt.
We celebrate today a new liturgical season, a new liturgical year! We celebrate the First Sunday of Advent. Advent comes from the Latin words ‘adventus’ which means ‘arrival’. The adventus was a ceremony in ancient Rome, in which an emperor was formally welcomed back into the city of Rome, especially after a successful military campaign.
The people of Rome certainly did not just sit around and wait for the Emperor’s return. Preparations needed to be made, and not at the last minute! Statues would be sculpted; special coins would be minted to commemorate the occasion! Preparations were joyful, hopeful and celebratory!
In today’s Gospel, Jesus again speaks of the end times! There will be signs in the sun, the moon and the stars, not to mention the obvious signs on earth. His message is simple and clear – be vigilant, be prepared and pray in anticipation of what is to come!
Christmas is only weeks away. For most of us, our holiday preparations have already begun. The Master is coming! The birth of the Messiah is approaching! Are we preparing ourselves with prayer and anticipation? Will we be ready when the Master comes? Or will He find us drowsy and un-prepared? Are we ready to once again welcome Christ into our world, into our life, into our hearts?
Whether our preparations are for the passing of a loved one or the joyful anticipation of a birth or a new path in life, Jesus calls us to make preparations, to be watchful, and to spend time in prayer.
So what are we waiting for? Light your Advent candles! Leave the light on for the Master! Be Prepared!
Rev. Bill Frere