Homily — First Sunday Advent A December 2, 2007

Homily — First Sunday Advent A December 2, 2007

Mount Everest

Here we are in Advent! And in the First Reading, from the Prophet Isaiah (who we’re going to be hearing from every Sunday and almost every weekday in the Mass Readings), gives us this Advent Prophecy:

In days to come, the mountain of the LORD’s house shall be established as the Highest Mountain, raised above all others.

Isaiah’s prophecy is that the Lord’s Mountain will one day be the Highest Mountain in the World, higher than Mount Everest. Mount Everest is 29,000 ft high, over ten times the size of the 2500 foot Mount Zion, the LORD’s Mountain of the Old Testament, atop which the city of Jerusalem resides.

But Isaiah isn’t referring to Mount Zion in this prophecy, he’s referring to Mount Jesus.

The fulfillment of the prophecy is Jesus, the true mountain of the Lord who has come into our world and has been established as the Highest Mountain, raised above all others.

There is no summit in this world higher than the summit which is Jesus Christ, the Son of God made Flesh. Jesus is higher than Everest, higher than the Himalayas, the Andes or the Rockies. All nations shall stream towards Him, many peoples shall come and say “Come, let us climb the LORD’s mountain.”

And in this Holy Season of Advent, Jesus invites you and me and everyone to climb up to the heights He lives on.

You know, Mount Everest, the highest mountain on earth after Jesus, can’t be scaled in one day. It takes at least three weeks to get to the top of it. And so we shouldn’t expect it to take less time getting to the summit of Mount Jesus. If we wait to the last minute to prepare for the coming of Christ at Christmas, we’re not going to anywhere close to where Jesus wants us to be. That’s why the Church gives us Four Weeks of Advent. We need every day of these next four weeks to each day climb a bit higher, each day get a bit more closer to Jesus.

May we make sure that as we get closer to Christmas, we are ascending in our faith, and not descending into sin or despair. And so these next four weeks, as busy as they are, must also be for us days of prayer and reflection. The daily Mass readings, which are given in the bulletin each week, are excellent ways to climb higher in our faith.

We also should take the opportunity in Advent to make a good confession. I hope to have a penance service on Monday Evening December 17 with four priests available to hear confessions, I’ll let you know for sure next weekend. We also have confessions every Saturday morning after the 7:30 Mass and Saturday afternoons from Noon to 1 pm.

So let’s all make the resolution to start climbing this Highest of Mountains which is Jesus Christ, every day this Season of Advent. December 25 is coming like a thief in the night, it will be upon us before we know it, and these short Grace-filled weeks will be over. May we not get to Christmas day and realize we’ve wasted them, and are still way down in the valley, at the base of this enormous Mountain.

Rather, as the Psalmist says, Let us go rejoicing to the House of the Lord. Hope to see everyone, including myself, at the summit, where the Baby Jesus awaits us in the manger.

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