Homilies by Fr. Alan Phillip

1st Sunday of Advent (A) The Time is Now
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     Imagine that there is a bank that credits our bank account each morning with $86,400.00.  It carries over no balance from day to day.  Whatever part of the money we fail to use during that day is deleted every night.  What would we do?  We would surly draw out all the money and either spend it, invest it, or give it away.  We would try to use this money wisely.

     Each of us has such a bank.  Its name is TIME.  Every day it credits us with 86,400 seconds.  At the end of the day it writes off as loss the seconds we have failed to use for a good purpose.  It carries over no balance.  It allows no overdraft.

     If we fail to use the day's deposits, the loss is ours.  There is no going back. There is no drawing against tomorrow.   The clock is running for us to make the most of each second each day.


     Ben Franklin said, “Dost thou love life?  Then do not squander time, for that’s the stuff life is made of.” 

     John Randolph said, “Time is at once the most valuable and the most perishable of all our possessions.

     Another wise man said, “The bad news is time flies. The good news is you're the pilot.”

     It is wise not to waste time. What is it that wastes time?  Worry is a waste of time.  Self-pity is a waste of time.  Accumulating unneeded stuff is a waste of time.  Violence is a waste of time.


     St. Paul told us in our second reading, “You know the time in which we are living.  It is now the hour for you to wake from sleep…  The night is far spent.  The day draws near.  Let us cast off the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.”  St. Paul goes on to say, in effect, that the biggest waste of time is sin. 


2) In our gospel today, Jesus talks about time.  He tells us to be prepared for when the clock stops.  The end of time.  The final coming of the Lord.  


     One way to be prepared for the end of time is to now, as St. Paul tells us, “put on the Lord Jesus.”  That means, put on compassion.  Put on forgiveness.  Put on generosity.  Put on gratitude.  Put on loyalty.  Put on respect for the earth.    Put on respect for human life.  Put on truth.  …  Yes, to put on the Lord Jesus Christ is certainly to make the best use of time.


     Here at Mass we place the bread and wine upon the altar.  This bread and wine represent all of us.  We ask the Father to send forth the Spirit to transform this bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ.  And we ask that the same Spirit transform all of us more and more into the likeness of Christ.  Help us to put on the Lord Jesus.


3, Thirdly, in our first reading today from Isaiah, the prophet pens this vision:


“They shall beat their swords into plowshares,

and the spears into pruning hooks.

One nation shall not raise the sword against another

Nor shall they train for war again.”


     Isn’t it about time for this vision to become a reality?  Centuries and centuries of violence and war have not led to peace.  


     While there is little any of us can do on the international scene, we can act locally, because there are everyday weapons that destroy peace.


     We need to beat the swords of insults and gossip into the plowshares of kind words.


     We need to refrain from raising up spears of anger and resentment.


     We need to remove the blinders of selfishness, so we can see the needs of others.


     We need to remove the barriers of prejudice, so we can be united as one human family.


     Yes, putting on the Lord Jesus means being peacemakers, casting off deeds of darkness and putting on the armor of light.


     In our Psalm Response we sang,


“I rejoiced when I heard them say,

Let us go to the house of the Lord.”


     If we possess love, then the house of the Lord is our heart.  Jesus dwells there.





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