You have reached the website of
Thanks for coming to my web page. I hope you will find something of interest here. Let me know what you think. This is a blog in some respects. I am always happy to hear your responses as well.
For Advent 2:
Merciful God, who sent your messengers the prophets to preach repentance and prepare the way for our salvation: Give us grace to heed their warnings and forsake our sins, that we may greet with joy the coming of Jesus Christ our Redeemer; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
+ + + + + + +
Isaiah 11:1-10; Ps 72;
Rom 15:4-13; Mt 3:1-12
Homily: “His delight shall be in the fear of the Lord” (Is 11:3)
My brothers and sisters in Christ, ministers also in Christ’s name.
Every Sunday, after the sermon, we pray together from the Nicene Creed: “He (that is, Jesus) shall come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end.” Our brothers and sisters in Christ have been praying this creed for centuries since it was first formulated at a Council in Nicea, in modern day Turkey, and revised at the Council of Constantinople in 381. At both assemblies, the bishops of the Church were discerning who is Jesus and when should we celebrate Easter, both of which are still being discussed in some circles today.
Advent, which as you know is a Latin word meaning, “coming,” is about remembering how our ancestors in ancient Israel looked forward to the coming of the Messiah to deliver them from oppression and restore the kingdom of David. It is also about us looking forward to the second coming or the return of the risen Lord at the end of time, and how his kingdom, which is vastly different from the kingdom of David, will have no end.
Isaiah in the first lesson this weekend looks forward to a descendant of Jesse, the father of king David, who will come with “the spirit of the Lord” resting upon him, along with “the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, (and) the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord” (Is 11:2). Then Isaiah states: His delight shall be in the fear of the Lord” (Is 11:3).
“The fear of the Lord?” What does that mean? Well, we know about fear. It is deeply rooted in each of us, and it seems to permeate our culture profoundly at this time. Some presidential candidates urge us to fear terrorists and economic depression, and they promise they will rescue us from such fear. So how can we wait in this Advent season preparing for Christmas delighting in “the fear of the Lord?”
Fr. Henri Nouwen tells us: “We consider waiting a waste of time, perhaps because our culture is always saying, ‘Get going! Do something! Show you are able to make a difference! Don’t just sit there and wait!’”
He writes: “Waiting is even more difficult because we are so fearful – not just as individual but as whole communities and nations. Fear explains why it is so hard to wait and how tempting it is to act. That is the root of a “first strike” approach to others. Those who live in the world of fear are more likely to make aggressive, hostile, destructive response than people who are not so frightened. The more afraid we are, the harder waiting becomes.”
Fear comes from the past, from our experiences of suffering, personal experiences in which we were hurt by someone, and even nationally from our experience of September 11, 2001. Fear makes us hesitant to risk trusting others, and therefore to be wary of the future. In short, it makes us walk, as it were, backwards into the future, dragging the past emotions with us. So why should we delight in looking forward to the second coming of the risen Lord when he will judge the living and the dead?
[Book Sale: Joseph has some 250 books for sale on Amazon. Check at www.amazon.com/shops/kairosnews ]
[Photobooks published by Fr. Joseph Clayton Neiman. To see some pages or to order copies, click on picture which will take you to www.blurb.com.]