Homily – December 1, 2019

There are times when reading the scriptures of the day and preparing a sermon there might be a phrase that sparks an idea on what one might speak about.

Today such a phrase was in Paul’s letter to the Romans when he calls them to wake from sleep. He might have been speaking of their sleep, their avoidance of the challenge he’s put before them that they ‘put on the Lord Jesus Christ.’ He challenges them to lay aside the works of darkness and put on the armour of light. These are symbolic words but words that can still make us think about our own struggles to ‘put on Christ’, our struggles to be a Christ-like person.

Dare we ask ourselves, what is our sleep, our drowsiness from which Paul shakes us to wake up to the teachings and example of Jesus? What is our drowsiness that lulls us into a dullness of indifference, insensitivity to the wants and sufferings of those closest to us, our family members and friends? Paul calls us, shakes us to wake up to the wants and sufferings of men, women and children we don’t even know. Faithful to the teachings of Christ Paul challenges us to wake up to the reality that these needy but neglected men women and children are our brothers and sisters in our human family, that they are our brothers and sisters in the family of the church.

Recently world scientists told the leaders of the world they are failing to live up to their commitment to face the reality, the dangers of climate change. In other words; ’wake up’, time is running out.

We all know that our lives as Christian men and women is a life of tension. The good that we would, we do not. The evil that we would not do, that we do. The grace and presence of Jesus Christ will see us through if we are open to Christ’s presence in our lives. Christ will shake us, wake us to lay aside the works of darkness, our deep sleep of indifference and help us put on the light, the light that shows us our obligation to the needs and the sufferings of neglected seniors, the sick and suffering, the working poor, the homeless street people living and struggling in our own city.

At this Mass we ask for the grace of courage and concern to wake up from our sleep of indifference and put on our Lord Jesus Christ and be attentive to the good people who need our love and our help be they family, friends or total strangers.

May we put on the Lord Jesus Christ and learn to love as he loved, learn to forgive as he forgave and learn to heal hurts as he healed. As often as we are there for family, friends, or strangers we are there for Christ. May we be blesses to be awake to all the possibilities of doing good that come our way today