Homily Notes for December 10, 2017
Second Sunday of Advent
A little boy walked out into his backyard wearing a baseball cap and carrying a bat and all. “I am the greatest hitter in the world,” he said. Then he tossed the ball into the air, swung at it, missed. “Strike one!” he yelled. “I am the greatest hitter in the world,” he said. Then he tossed the ball into the air, swung at it, missed again. “Strike Two !” he yelled. “I am the greatest hitter in the world,” he said. Then he tossed the ball into the air, swung at it, missed a third time. He picked up the ball and yelled, “I am the greatest pitcher in the world.”
Many of us at some time or other have dreamed about being the greatest. In today’s gospel we meet a man who had no desire to be thought of as the greatest. Yet, Jesus says that John the Baptist was the greatest man born of a woman. Part of what make John so great was his willingness to change.
- John changed himself. We don’t know much about John’s background. But at some point, he felt the call of God in his life. He changed himself by living in the wilderness, living simply, and spending time with God. When God asked him to become a prophet, he was willing to let crowds gather around and listen to him. He was willing to change when God asked him.
- John changed others. The preaching of John had a profound impact upon many of his listeners. They repented of their sins and returned to God. It is clear that John ‘s preaching caujsed people to make changes in their lives. Perhaps one reason John could changed others was that he lived his message, he practiced what he preached.
- Finally, John changed his message. When he began his preaching in the wilderness it was all about reign of God and the need to repent of our sins. After Jesus came upon the scene, his message changed to the reign of God is at hand and the need to follow Jesus. “Look, there is the lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.”
The season of Advent is the beginning of the new Liturgical Year of the Church. Advent is a time when we are challenged to make a new beginning. Like John the Baptist and those who came to hear him preach, we needed to be willing to make changes. Let me suggest that we all do two things:
- First, make a change by getting rid of something that keeps us from growing closer to God or being a better disciple of Jesus. Come to the Sacrament of Reconciliation
- Second, do something positive to grow spiritually. Pray more. Read the bible, give more to the church and the needy, volunteer and get inovolved in the parish.
None of us will ever be the greatest Christian in the world, but we can all become better Christians.