Sunday Homily


Did you notice in the Gospel, it said Jesus was talking to the people and then all of a sudden, he turns to this man who is yelling at him. The crowd never picked up on the fact that while Jesus was talking about the Kingdom — they said nothing. Also, if you notice, the man turned and said, “Jesus, you’re the holy one of Israel.” Because when that man called out and recognized who Jesus was, the red light, the yellow light, the green light, the blue light — everything went on in Jesus and he knew, “This man’s got it.”  Jesus turned right to him and said, “Come out.  I know, since you know who I am, you are going to be willing to give your life to follow me.”


It’s not just for today — it’s for everyday of our life.  We become lax and so we need to hear those words ever so often.  “Quiet.  Come out.”  And all of a sudden, something changes.

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If I would come around to each of you with this microphone and ask,  “Do you feel joy this morning?”  If you have to hesitate then — no deal.  But if you say,  “I sure do.  Everything that could go wrong went wrong yesterday, but man, do I feel like a million dollars this morning.  I am ready to take on the world.”


And Jesus would say,  “I want that energy.  Come follow me.”

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And Samuel said, “Speak, Lord.  Your servant is listening.”  Sometimes we are in the mode of not — “Speak, Lord.  Your servant is listening.”  But instead, “Listen, Lord.  I have something I want from you.”  Again, there is nothing wrong with asking God for things but if we really want to be in touch with God, we need to listen. And yes, God speaks to us in many different ways.  He speaks to us through each other, our parents, through our grandparents, through our teachers, and through our faith communities.  God is always present talking to us in a variety of ways if only we listen to those signs.


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That is why we are baptizing the children this morning.  And that’s why we baptize in all churches, all the time.  It’s so that God’s Spirit will be kept alive.  And being with the Spirit means that life never stays the same.  We are who we are at six,  we are who we are at twenty-six,  we are who we are at fifty-six, we are who we are at ninety-six — same person, same body, same faith.  But the experiences of life just keep changing and God keeps saying to us, “Are you with me?  I’m giving you all I have, so it’s only fair that I ask you to give me — all that you have.”

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And so this day of Epiphany:  What do you and I want to hold on to?  Do we have the courage to follow the star and know that God will give us the signal,  “Don’t go back to Herod, move ahead, go forward, and never fear.”


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How do you and I deal with the unexpected?  The unexpected happens all the time.  Sometimes it’s a positive, sometimes it’s a negative.  But the important question is:  How do we deal with it?  In the Scriptures this morning we saw in the first reading those unexpected events:  angels, and voices and whispers were coming into people. When David was chosen — he was not to be the chosen one.  But Samuel was told, “Don’t take anyone until I tell you, and you will know when you have the right person.”  And when David was chosen — that became the House of David.

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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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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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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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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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