posted on December 16, 2012 15:20
Homily: Father Mike Kuse
Blessed Sacrament Parish
December 16, 2012 - Third Sunday of Advent
10 AM Service
What if a man came into church right now and walked down the aisle and all he had on was a simple shaggy garment clinging to his body? He would look at us and shout, “Change your ways! Get a life.” If somebody could click what was going on in all of our brains at the same time we might ask, “Who is this person? What right does he have to come in here and tell us what to do?”
Yet, that was the experience of John the Baptist. He came among the people, he knew his destiny, and yet they didn't quite understand who John was.
The question for us 2,000 years later is, “Do we really know who is going to be born on Christmas Day?” The answer is: somewhat yes, somewhat no. And the question for us is, “When Christ is born, are you going to be ready? Am I going to be ready?” When you sit down and think about it, this whole experience of Advent is very risky business.
Take the experience that all of you parents and grandparents have when a couple realizes they are going to be blessed with a child. All they know is that if everything goes well, sometime around nine months later a new life is going to take place. No one knows what the birth of this child will really mean to this family, or how the birth of a child is going to change every family, every parent, and all of civilization. That's the risky business.
It used to be when a child was born the mom and dad didn't know if they were going to have a boy or a girl. The dad would be in the waiting room and the doctor and the nurse would come in a say, “Congratulations, you have a son, you have a daughter.”
Today, if you want to know, you can find out several weeks ahead if you are going to have a boy or a girl, and if you are going to have twins or triplets. But you never know in advance what this child will be like, or how the child will grow up?
Are all of us fulfilling the dreams of our parents? Are we achieving everything our parents wanted us to accomplish, or did our parents just allow us to be?
New parents say, “We want to teach you how to love, we want to teach you how to have hope, we want to watch you, we want to see what's going to take place in the future.” Our parents aren't wondering how much money we have. They are wanting to know: Did we really make you happy? Did we pass on the faith to you, and is that faith really important to you? We brought you up in a family. Is that family still important to you?
That's the risky business.
Today on this Gaudete Sunday we are asked to rejoice. What are we going to rejoice about? How are we going to constantly prepare our lives for all the miracles that God wants to bring? And we're told that if you are dealing with jealousy, and that's something parents wish their children do not have, Scripture tells us, “Then you need to get on the right path.”
If you are not achieving what you could achieve, then the Scriptures tell us, “Level the mountains.”
If you're really not living your faith, then the scriptures tell us, “Remember you were baptized, and being baptized is risky business.”
And today, as we baptize Kaelyn Rose, it's risky business.
So tonight and tomorrow and the next days as we count these days to Christmas, you and I are being asked, “Can you and I accept that there really is a Savior in my life, that my baptism has really taken hold, and that I am willing to change, to grow and to rejoice and realize that “risky business” doesn't affect me - because I know how to make it something joyful.
Today, may you and I think about our lives, think about our baptisms, think about our families, think about what we are doing with our lives. And then we can ask the question, “What should we do?” John would come back to all of us and say, “It's risky. But take the risk. Go out and live with your heart. Go out and share what you have. Go out and live as people of hope.”
That's the meaning of Christmas. That's why we all need the excitement that goes on because it's that excitement that hopefully will take us to a quiet spot, and when we get to that quiet spot then we will know the answer.
May you and I welcome the Savior in nine days. May we welcome Jesus because we are willing to take the risk.
Monsignor Michael Kuse is pastor of Blessed Sacrament Parish in Quincy, Illinois.