Fr. John Halton, Parochial House, Tempo.
Telephone : 895 41344.
6th December 2009
Sunday of Advent.
Second Sunday of Advent
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.
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.
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.
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.
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”.