Homily – Second Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A

2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A
Isaiah 11:1-10
Romans 15:4-9
Matthew 3:1-12
December 8, 2013

Every time we celebrate Mass we listen to words from the Bible.  Why?

Paul offers us an explanation when he writes to the Romans, “Whatever was written previously was written for our instruction that by endurance and by the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.”

When we read scripture, we are reading stories of events in the past but not to simply as nice stories of history.  The stories found in the Bible give us instruction about what it means to believe in God.  The scriptures also tell us how God has always kept his promises to the people so that we can have hope in God’s promises for the future.

One of the promises we read about in scripture is told by Isaiah in our first reading today.  Isaiah tells what the coming Messiah would be like with the spirit of the Lord upon him with gifts of knowledge, courage, and strength to name a few.  Jesus clearly is the fulfillment of this.

But when we talk about God fulfilling his promises, there is a second part to this reading that doesn’t seem to have been fulfilled in Jesus.  Isaiah speaks of how the wolf will lie with the lamb and the baby shall play by the cobra’s den

This would seem impossible and history would say it hasn’t happened.  Has God let us down?

No.  Jesus came to offer all this to us but not all have accepted it.  Jesus came to transform the world but not all have accepted the transformation.

Have we?  Have we become Christian?

It begins with Baptism.  For John baptism was for the forgiveness of sins.  John tells us that Jesus’ baptism will be so much powerful than his.  Jesus will baptize with the Holy Spirit and fire.

With the baptism of the Holy Spirit we receive the gifts of knowledge, wisdom, understanding, courage, counsel, and fear of the Lord.  What do we do with these gifts?  Do we allow ourselves to be transformed by them?

As we think about the Second Coming of Jesus, we must ask ourselves are we ready?

Soon we will celebrate the first coming of Jesus at Christmas.  People will spend a lot of time preparing ranging from shopping to cooking to cleaning and decorating at home.

How much time will you spend getting your house ready for the guests you will have?

There is one guest who must never be forgotten, Jesus!  However, Jesus isn’t interested in how clean our homes are or how they are decorated.  Jesus wants to come into our lives spiritually.

You work to get your house ready for others.  What are you doing to get your heart ready for Jesus to come as your guest?



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