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

Monday, December 7, 2015

Homily - Second Sunday of Advent - December 6, 2015

Rom. 15:4-13; Mt. 11:2-10

As you know, our Lord calls St. John the Baptist the greatest prophet.  Those before him foretold Christ, but he was the one who was sent to prepare His way.  He is also the last of the prophets.  With him, the age of the prophets ends, and the time of salvation in Christ has appeared.

This is shown in today’s Gospel.  St. John the Baptist is in prison facing his martyrdom.  This is the past era, the Old Testament era, now confined, in darkness, about to end.  John the Baptist does not doubt.  But he hands his disciples to our Lord to become His disciples.  He sends two of them with the instruction to ask, “Are you the one, or are we to await another?” so that they may hear for themselves.  Our Lord does not bear witness to Himself, but He allows His works to bear witness to Him.  The blind see, with the eyes of faith, the deaf hear, the lame walk, lepers are cured, an allusion to the forgiveness of sins, and the poor have the Gospel preached to them, all Old Testament signs of the messianic era fulfilled now in Christ.

Not all were prepared for the messianic era.  With the Roman occupation, there were hopes of a messiah who would come with wrath and judgment, defeat Israel’s enemies, and establish a time of empire.  But John the Baptist knew the kind of messiah our Lord is.  Baptizing at the Jordan, our Lord presented Himself, and John the Baptist said, “There is the Lamb of God, Who takes away the sins of the world.”  Our Lord was aware of the misunderstandings.  In today’s Gospel, he says to the crowd, “Blessed are those who are not scandalized in me,” a reference to His cross.

And so, St. Paul, in the epistle speaks of this messianic era, when Jew and gentile are united in the one faith, the Jew because of God’s fidelity to His promises, and the gentile because of His mercy.  There will be a time of judgment, but, for now, He has come as the God of consolation and mercy.

It is wonderful when we can see ourselves in the Gospel.  Perhaps the two disciples who John the Baptist sent to our Lord were a Jew and a gentile, signifying the new messianic era begun in Christ.  But St. John the Baptist, true to his vocation and call, sends us, to prepare the way of the Lord for us.  And the Lord asks us to see His works, the paschal mystery of His birth and incarnation, cross and resurrection.  He asks us to remember the times when we have seen the hand of God in our lives, the work of grace right before our very eyes, those times in life when we know that God has intervened.  We have no doubt.  We may not be able to explain it, but no one can convince us differently.

He asks us to see that, with His coming, history’s decisive hour has arrived, one which sets us on the way of salvation, not of imminent judgment, which will come, but a mercy which is present here and now, offered to all, the righteous and the sinner, of a kingdom which is operative now, and, in the spirit of John the Baptist, to leave former ways, and to deepen our discipleship with Christ.