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Priest: Fr. John Halton, Parochial House, Tempo.
Telephone : 895 41344.

Sunday 6th December 2009

2nd Sunday of Advent.

Homily for Second Sunday of Advent

6th December 2009.

We live at a difficult time in Ireland. There is a lot of anger and diquiet among the people in our Church, and in our country. And this anger is justified. There is anger against the leaders of the Church. People rightly feel that they have been let down by both Church and State. There is anger against the church, not only for the terrible crimes and sins of some priests against children, but also because of the cover- up which followed. Cover up and lack of transparency is the disease which hurts people, and is always wrong in the Church, and in every organisation. There is anger against the leaders of the state because of the recession, and the loss of “house and home” by some people, who can’t now afford to pay their mortgage. We know that there are many such people now, but we know also that the number will increase in the future.

There is anger too among people who have lost their home through flooding. Some of these sad picture are well publicised on our screens. People are angry with banks who led our young people into burrowing more, than they can now pay back. There is a lot of suffering among our people. The destruction of children’s lives by some priests; the loss of their home by parents with children, the scarcity of money all add up, and make some unable to cope. Therefore we have many people who see no way out except by taking their own lives. Some other suffer greatly from depression, which leads them into a dark hole where they loose their own self confidence, and self worth, and see no hope. Each week we have so many road accidents and deaths which add to the suffering of many, who are already overburdened with worry and fear. Our Church and our Country are in a wilderness.

We are not very secure, and we need a Redeemer and Leader very badly. We are like the people to whom Baruch speaks in the first reading today. We are not free, as the people he spoke to were not free. They were in captivity in Babylon, and we are in captivity in Ireland. They were in exile in Babylon and we are in exile in Ireland. This is why God asks the prophet Baruch, and Prophet John the Baptist to speak to them, and to us, and to reveal the mind of God to them and to us at this time. The message from God is very straight, and consoling. It is this: “Yes you do need a Redeemer and you need a Leader. Look within your self for the Redeemer and Leader, for he lives within you. God has become man and lives within you. He is your shelter, and security. He will lead you to freedom, and bring you out of your wilderness. Just trust in him as you listen to his word. Learn that people in the Church or State may let you down, but your Redeemer and Leader will never let you down. Not only will he not let you down but he is now calling on the Church and the Country to be renewed, changed, and to produce a new harvest.

He says:” Your Church will be renewed by each one of you, who are baptised into it, becoming a member of the Body of Jesus. It will now be renewed by lay people taking ownership of it, so that every mountain and hill can be laid low, every valley filled in, and the crooked paths can be like what the redeemer wants them to be. The word of God today gives hope, but it also puts out a challenge. All will be well, but only trough renewal and openness to our past faults. All will be well, but only if our lay people become more involved with our Redeemer and Leader in a great work of change and renewal. The Church will be saved for Christ by good lay people of Faith, and the country will be changed by good people of faith. This call comes to us in our wilderness, just as it came to John the Baptist in the wilderness. John went out and called people to change when he heard the Word of the Lord.

We must invite our lay people at this time of crisis and wilderness to save a renewed church for Jesus. Lay people must encourage each other to become more involved in the Church, and so renew it. We need good lay people who are prepared to work hard to change the Church for Jesus; for together we are his Body on earth. The Body of Jesus is being scourged at the pillar by those who were called to lead. Lay people should become like Simon of Cyrene, and get involved in his church which is his Body. Then we can sing with the psalm: “what marvels the lord worked for us. Indeed we were glad”.




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