December 7, 2014
Homily for the Second week of Advent-Preparing Our Hearts
December 7, 2014
We have our second homily on preparing our Hearts. What are we preparing our hearts for? Jesus. Last week, we learned three important things. First, “heart” refers to the inner-core part of us that good people really like! Second, we learned the purpose of our time here on earth is to prepare our hearts for Christ. God is forming us every day-just as a potter molds clay. Third, molding the heart requires silence-daily silence. We need a regular time of silence and peace.
Today, John the Baptist invites us to do something that is vitally important in preparing our hearts. He invites us to repent. He appeared in the desert announcing a “baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.” That invitation has been extended to you and me. What will we choose? We will acknowledge our sin and confess it? Confession is indeed a second baptism. On the other hand, will we abdicate responsibility and blame others? The Bible tells me that my salvation depends on me admitting when I am wrong and recognizing that I need “one mightier then I.” That “one”, of course, will baptize with the Holy Spirit. We need that sacrament of baptism, along with the other sacraments-especially confession which restores our baptismal innocence.
This is the choice we have: “Accepting Jesus as my personal savior.” Or, better yet, making a good confession. This choice sets the tone for our life.
Remember, repentance is not a once-and–for-all choice. It’s a daily task. The fact is as human beings we are either repenting, learning, or growing from our mistakes-or falling back. Spiritually, we cannot stand still. We have to make a choice. We can choose God or the devil, light or darkness. Perhaps this sounds extreme, but this is the choice we face.
It is easy to focus on the darkness, but remember, the darkness is shared with us as a warning. It is easy to be caught up in the darkness, but remember, we can choose the light. While trials and tribulations might discourage us, John the Baptist reminds us that we cannot build a permanent heaven here on earth. We should never lose sight of that.
Even when we do good things, it is easy to lose sight of God. I remember hearing about a seminarian who prayed his rosary every day, and always included many pieces of scripture with every decade. Yet, he found himself getting farther and farther away from God. The young man had some good spiritual practices in place, but he had lost sight of God. He needed to repent and turn back.
This weekend, we are invited to “turn back” and turn toward God. WE need God. In a few weeks, we will have the opportunity to turn back to him once again in the sacrament of Reconciliation. I highly encourage each one of you to prepare your hearts for Jesus by making a good confession. Prepare your hearts by repenting and turning back to the “one who is mightier then I.” You will not regret it!