Bottom line: God offers us true comfort. Not the false comfort of denying sin, but the acceptance of personal responsibility and divine forgiveness.
In our reading from the prophet Isaiah we hear, Comfort, give comfort to my people, says your God. For some this will invoke Handel's Messiah, Comfort ye, Comfort ye my people...Saith your God
We need a message of comfort after the devastation we have been through this year. On top of the worldwide pandemic other forms of devastation have come upon many people.
God offers us comfort, but it is not a false or easy comfort. C.S. Lewis said this, "If you look for truth, you may find comfort in the end; if you look for comfort you will not get either comfort or truth only soft soap and wishful thinking to begin, and in the end, despair."
People today seek comfort by pretending that sin does not exist, that we are driven by blind forces beyond our control. But the Bible says that God created us in his image and has given us stewardship over creation. We sometimes misuse our freedom and turn away from God. But the good news is that - as long as we are in these mortal bodies - we can always turn back. That's why John called people to repentance. As today's Gospel says, the people "were being baptized by him in the Jordan River as they acknowledged their sins."
Once we've acknowledged the truth of our shortcomings and failures, we can receive God's comfort:
Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and proclaim to her that her service is at an end, her guilt is expiated; indeed, she has received from the hand of the LORD double for all her sins.
God offers us true comfort. Not the false comfort of denying sin, but the acceptance of personal responsibility and divine forgiveness. Now, if you and I have received comfort from God, he asks that we comfort one another. We can do that in many ways, but one of the most effective is through Catholic Community Services. In our name they reach out to people in our area who have fallen on hard times. Please now give your full attention to ______________________.
Spanish Version (Word document)
From Archives (First Sunday of Advent, Year B)
From Archives (Second Sunday of Advent, Year B):
Seapadre Homilies: Cycle A, Cycle B, Cycle C
Audio Files of Homilies (Simple Catholicism Blog)
Are these homilies a help to you? Please consider making a donation to St. Mary of the Valley Parish.
Other Priests' Homilies, Well Worth Listening:
Fr. Kurt Nagel
Fr. Frank Schuster
Fr. Brad Hagelin
Fr. Jim Northrop
Fr. Michael White
Fr Pat Freitag (and deacons of St. Monica)
Bishop Robert Barron
Bulletin (St. Mary of Valley Parish)
Parish Picture Album
MBC - Mary Bloom Center, Puno, Peru