Homily — 2nd Sunday Advent C December 10, 2006

Homily — 2nd Sunday Advent C December 10, 2006

 Advent Wreath Second Sunday

  Up Jerusalem!  Stand upon the heights.

 In the first reading, the prophet Baruch, Jeremiah’s trusty secretary, today tells Jerusalem her days of sorrow can now be over. 

 Daughter Jerusalem had for years been in mourning and in misery, ever since her children were led away on foot by their enemies.

 Far away were her beloved children led, over rugged Mountains,  across gorges and seas.  And years have passed since her children were led away in captivity by their enemies, never to be seen by Jerusalem again.

 But while they not seen with her eyes all those years, the memory of each one of them was held in her heart.  And all those years of sadness and separation, Jerusalem never lost hope in God’s promise of restoration.

 And today God speaks to her:  Up Jerusalem!  Stand on the heights.  Lift up your drooping head, Climb up onto the highest mountain peak in this city set on a hill, get on your tip toes and see what your God is doing in the distance.

 See your children gathered from the east and the west . . . . rejoicing that they are remembered by God.  See the lofty, unpassable mountain be laid low so your children can return home to you.  See the wide chasms, the age old depths which separated you from your loved ones be filled to level ground to reunite you to them.

 God has prepared the return of the exiles, but you Jerusalem must first Rise and Stand upon the heights, so that these children of yours will see you from afar and come toward you.  

  If you don’t stand on the heights now, Jerusalem, your children won’t see where you are, and the mountains will rise back up, and the deep chasms again return to bar their way home.

 My brothers and sisters in Christ!  This Holy Season of Advent, in the seventh year of the reign of George W. Bush, when Donald Carcieri is governor of Rhode Island, and Susan Menard the mayor of Woonsocket, during the Pontificate of Benedict XVI and Episcopacy of Thomas Tobin, the Word of God comes to you and me in this parish, calling out to the New Jerusalem, the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church.  He calls to us: Up, New Jerusalem!  Stand upon the heights. 

 Now is not the time for moping, or saying how bad things are in the world today or in my life today or in the Church today.  Now is the time to stand upon the heights I have built My City upon, to climb the Lord’s mountain to it’s very peak!

 Now is the time, from now until Christmas, to daily hike for ten minutes or so, the upward path of silent prayer and scripture reading, to daily take up the Cross as a walking stick and with it ascend the path of repentance and good works.

 And yes, now is the time to make that serious steep scramble up into the confessional and make a good confession of our sins on that vista.

 And finally, after all this is done, with renewed strength and joy we will run the rest of the way, all the way up to the Summit of our Faith, the Summit of the New Jerusalem, as we climb up to this Altar and receive Jesus in the Holy Eucharist.

 If you and I stand up upon these heights this advent, we will see our long lost children gathered by the Lord off in the distance.  

 Long lost innocence, long lost faith hope and love, long lost peace.  

 We may even see long lost family members start to turn back to God, when they see this New Jerusalem we are part of shining out with the glory and joy of the Lord, and see how easy the way would be to get back to God.

 My brothers and sisters, may we not be afraid of heights, but set out rejoicing to the house of the Lord today, in the remaining two grace filled weeks of Advent we have left, when the valleys are temporarily filled in and the mountains are for a brief moment laid low

Comments are closed.