Basic Information

Mass Location: St. Mary Magdalen Chapel, 2532 Ventura Blvd., Camarillo, CA 93010
Mass Time: Sunday 10 a.m. (check parish website bulletin for special feastdays which may be different)
Confessions: 9:00-9:45 a.m. - see schedule below

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Homily - First Sunday of Advent - November 29, 2015

Rom. 8:11-14; Lk. 21:25-33

Today is the First Sunday of Advent, the beginning of the four-week period preparing for the feast of our Lord’s birth at Christmas.  Ironically, it begins with the end.  It is all to tell us that our Lord is the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end.  At every traditional Mass, we proclaim the last Gospel, the Prologue of John.  “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”  He is the beginning, the creator, the source of all.  He has entered into human history and given all creation a new meaning, purpose, and finality.  He has come to establish the Kingdom of God.

Sin has entered into all creation, this we know all too well.  Today’s Gospel reminds us of the calamities in the world today.  There is the constant threat that wars could escalate into mass destruction, there are acts of terrorism, heinous killings, which are the fodder of front page news.  It makes us not want to live in a world like this.  But all creation, then, is subject to redemption.  A few weeks ago, we celebrated the feast of Christ the King, where we proclaimed that creation is His, He made it, and He has come to redeem it.  One of the early Church fathers, commenting on why our Lord came as an infant, rather than in the full splendor of His glory, said, that in His first coming, He came in silence, but at His second coming, He will speak, words of judgment.  For the world, it will be a terror, men withering for fear, but for you and me, the faithful, it will be our redemption, a vindication, when He rights every wrong.  Fortified by faith and good works, we will be able to stand confident on that day, and in our own day, despite the counter signs.

To encourage us, the Lord gives us this tender and beautiful parable of the kingdom.  Growing up, we had a fig tree in our back yard, and in the winter, nothing looks deader than a fig tree.  It is barren, spiny, and dry.  It looks like nothing will ever grow on it again.  Maybe that is why the Lord chose the fig tree for this parable, because sometimes that is the way things look.  But then there is a mysterious inner activity which takes place, not its own, that brings the sap, then the leaf, then the bud, and then the fruit.  Such is the grace of God, and such is the coming of the kingdom.  As desperate as things may look, there is no power greater than that of Christ, and Christ crucified and risen from the dead.

Even now, Christ reigns, and that grace flows into the world through His birth and incarnation, His cross and resurrection.  What He wants us to know is that, even now, such as things may be, He is giving us life.