Fr. Brian Zumbrum’s homilies and reflections are posted weekly at Leaven in the World. To see the archive of all his posts, just click here: Salesian Sermons
3rd Sunday of Advent | December 13/14, 2014
PROTIP: Before reading on, be sure to take a look at the Sunday readings here. This homily focuses on the first reading with allusions to the second and Gospel readings.
About a year ago, my cousin sent me a card announcing the birth of her little girl.
I remember being captivated by the phrase on the card . . .
The beginning words of a lifelong love letter.
How incredibly beautiful.
Now, I couldn’t help but think about that card as I read the 1st reading for today.
For in many ways, this passage from Isaiah is its own love letter. God’s love letter of which we are both the recipients and the messenger.
For each of us has been anointed. Each of us has been chosen.
To heal the broken-hearted.
To liberate the imprisoned.
To announce the Good News.
To be the living words of God’s love letter to the world.
There are no prior qualifications my friends.
We don’t have to be perfect.
We don’t have to have our lives all put together.
We don’t need more time. Or more money.
All we need to do is accept the truth of who we are. Like John the Baptist, we must accept the role we have been called to play. A role that no one else can fill. And in turn, we must stay connected to the one who calls us, to the one who sends us forth.
To fill the role that will played out in our lives as they are . . . in the jobs where we work, in the families that we have created, in the neighborhoods where we live, in the routines that we follow, in the state of life that we have chosen or that has chosen us.
Look around my friends. Where are the broken hearts that only you can heal? Where are the imprisoned souls that only you can free? Who needs the Good News that only you can bring? Who needs your joy?
Is it your teammate who has hit a slump and really doubts he belongs on the team anymore?
Is it your grandmother who still misses her husband with each passing season?
Is it your daughter who is caught trying to do it all and feels like she is doing nothing well?
Is it your friend who just became a parent and is scared out of his mind that he will somehow mess it up?
Is it your co-worker who no longer enjoys coming to work?
Our lives are filled with people waiting for our words. Waiting for the love letter that shares what they need to hear.
Be not afraid.
You are free
You are forgiven
God loves you.
So let us deliver the letter my friends, confident that our God will be true to His promises.
That he will accomplish the good work that he has begun in us.
We do not need to be the Savior of the world my friends. We already have one. All we need to do is play our small part and trust that it will be enough.
And in turn, when we are broken-hearted and imprisoned. When we are desperate for a word of comfort, or strength or wisdom. When we find it hard to laugh or smile. We too will be the recipients of this love letter.
Our hearts will be healed.
We will be set free.
We will hear the Good News for which we yearn
We will share in that joy.
As we receive God’s letter from those who surround us.
Our Advent journey is drawing to a close my friends, but our God still waits.
Waits to be heard.
Waits to be encountered.
In us, the very people He has chosen and claimed as His own.
Do we hear the words of God’s love letter to us? Are we sharing those words with others?
May God be Praised.