December 2, 2018
First Sunday of Advent
On this First Sunday of Advent I find one of my favorite lines of Scripture in today's Gospel. "But when these signs happen, stand erect and raise your heads because your redemption is at hand." Now this might seem strange to you, and I have to say I might not say it in the same words, but I believe what Jesus is getting at is to be hopeful, confident and proud (good kind of pride) in your faith, in your relationship with God. I might say it this way, "Stand up straight, stick out your chest, hold your head high be ready for God's presence in your life!"
A number of years ago, when Pope Benedict was still pope, there was a synod of bishops in Rome that focused on the New Evangelization. During the synod one of the cardinals said that we need this New Evangelization because we are embarrassed by our faith. Now upon hearing this I took offence. I have never been embarrassed by my faith. I have been embarrassed by some of the Church leadership at times. I have been embarrassed by the institution at times. I have been embarrassed by the actions of certain people within the Church at times. I have even been embarrassed by my own actions at times, but I have never been embarrassed by my faith, my belief in God and my relationship with God, my membership in the Church and the Body of Christ. When it comes to my faith, I always stand up straight, with my chest out and my head held high and I believe!
Advent is a new beginning, a time of hopefulness, a time to look at the trials, tribulations, struggles, disappointments, difficulties of life and say I believe! To say we believe! As we begin our journey through Advent may we take the words of the scriptures to heart today and everyday throughout this Advent Season and make ready to "Believe" once again in our Faithful and Loving God!
Father Paul Fagan, C.P.
Have a great Sunday everyone and may the Passion of Jesus Christ be always in your heart!