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15

Be happy all the time.  And always remember to pray. The question really comes for us and it is — do I hear the voice?  Have I found my own voice?  Do I know who I am?  Can people be around me, or watch me, and see that I am always happy no matter what, and I always take time to thank God.  It doesn’t mean I have to kneel in church twenty-four seven.  Our sleep is a prayer, taking a shower becomes a prayer, eating becomes a prayer.  Everything becomes a prayer once you have found your voice.  But if you don’t have your voice, you don’t understand the message of John. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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11

This morning we celebrate the second Sunday in Advent and, as we know, in Advent we are looking forward to the coming of Christ at Christmas.  And not just Christ’s coming at Christmas but also we think about the Second Coming — that comes at our death, or at the end of the world.  So, the question we are faced with is:  Are we ready, and are we prepared?  And if not, what do we need to do to prepare ourselves?


 


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24

Today we celebrate the feast of Christ the King which marks the end of the liturgical season.  Do we sometimes feel, or unconsciously act like the opponents of Jesus and the Roman soldiers in the passion narratives — limiting our knowledge of kingship to earthly dominion and power?  The reign of Christ, his shepherding is not of the world — but of love and service.

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20

When we die and we are at the pearly gates, one of the questions that will be asked of us is, “How did you use the gifts that I gave you?  How did you use the abilities and talents I gave you while you were on earth?”

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13

So when we come into a church, and there is a common atmosphere, we all believe the same things, we are very comfortable and think, “This is where I belong and I know that in a few minutes the body and blood of Christ will be present, and like in the first reading, the spring of water will gush down from the Temple and it will go into the salt water and transform the water until it is fresh water.”  You and I do that.  You and I need that.  That is why we come to church, not because we think we are better than someone else — it's just that we need to be refreshed.


 


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13

So when we come into a church, and there is a common atmosphere, we all believe the same things, we are very comfortable and think, “This is where I belong and I know that in a few minutes the body and blood of Christ will be present, and like in the first reading, the spring of water will gush down from the Temple and it will go into the salt water and transform the water until it is fresh water.”  You and I do that.  You and I need that.  That is why we come to church, not because we think we are better than someone else — it's just that we need to be refreshed.


 


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05

Death is going to happen to all of us — for some it is as an infant, for others it is when they are many years along. But when it comes, it is supposed to be a moment of peace and calm knowing that God has forgiven me, and all I want now is to live out my baptism and be one with God. 

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29

Just imagine this man, a stranger, coming into church this morning. As he is walking in the door he asks himself,  “Should I really go in?  The people inside may not accept me.  I’m from Mexico and I just have a card.  I wasn’t born and raised here.  I really don’t speak their language. Right now I’m out of work.  Probably all those people in that church are citizens and right now I don’t have a job. Will I really fit in?”

 

That’s when Jesus says,  “Open those doors and walk in, because if those people know the Gospel they have no choice but to welcome you.” 

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29

Another issue going on not only in the Catholic Church, but also in all churches, is the issue of same-sex unions. In the past, traditionally marriage has been between a man and a woman.  So how do we reconcile this?  How do we know?  If half of this church was gay, and this other half was straight, and Jesus is standing here in front of you and we ask him — “Well, who are you going to like, and who are you going to love?”

 

Jesus cuts through that so fast and says, “Didn’t I give all of you life?” 


 


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09

Jesus says, “I just want to watch you live your life.  I want you to grow, I want you to find happiness.  But you won’t discover that growth and happiness unless you first empty yourself and let go of the things that are not necessary in your life.  Then let me bring into your life everything that you need.”


 


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