Awaiting the Birth of a New Age

BY FR. BRIAN ZUMBRUM, OSFS

1st Sunday of Advent | December 2, 2018

See today’s readings here. This homily focuses on all the readings. The archive of all of Fr. Brian’s homilies can be found hereSalesian Sermons

I don’t like scary movies.

Never have.  Never will.

But it was particularly brought home my first year working with the students at Nativity Prep.  See someone had the brilliant idea of watching Poltergeist with the students.

Well needless to say, some of the younger students were a tad apprehensive.

So me, being the fool that I am, assure the students that I will watch and then let them know when the scary scenes are over.

So here I am, watching intently as some demon clown toy appears on screen.

Meanwhile, one of the eighth grade students had decided to creep around from the back of the auditorium, army crawling his way down the aisle so that he could jump up and shout. Mr. Zumbrum.

Welp, I screamed like a banshee, jumped straight out of my sheet and sprinted out of the auditorium.

It was only when I was in the parking lot outside of the building that I began to regain some sense of control.

Realizing that I had just abandoned an entire school full of children that I was supposed to be watching.

It’s amazing the power that fear can have over us.

How it can distort our perspective, twist our thoughts, overwhelm our emotions.

How it can prevent us from doing what we are called to do, being who we are called to be

And though we may not all be terrified by an 80s horror film,  I believe that each of us has known fear.

We are afraid of failure.  Afraid of our own insecurities.  Afraid to let the world see who we truly are.

We are afraid of the truth.  We are afraid of our past. We are afraid our secrets will come to light.

We are afraid of change.  Afraid of the unknown. Afraid of those who are different from us.

We are afraid of getting older.  We are afraid of losing the ones we love.  

We are afraid of violence.  Of terrorism. Of the power of our own addictions.

We are afraid of the dark and of the darkness.  We are afraid of being alone.

And yet, we have chosen to gather in this space to hear this Gospel proclaimed.

A Gospel In which we are called to stand erect. Raising our heads to gaze into the face of the one who is to come.

The prince of peace who reminds us again and again . . . Be not afraid.

For I am with you always, even until the end of time.

I am with you in the darkness and in the light.

Here we are my friends, at the beginning of our Advent season.

Awaiting the dawn of the Son.  Awaiting the birth of a new age.

One in which all of our fears will melt away, like the frost sprinkled upon the grass.

So that we can stand erect.

Confident in the knowledge of who we are.

Beloved sons and daughters of God.

Chosen.

Redeemed.

Blessed.

Gifted.

And confident that we are held in the arms of that same loving God.

Who will heal every wounded heart.  Wipe away every tear. Mend the broken pieces.   And then send us forth to do the same.  Until he comes again. Into a world without end.   Amen.  Amen.

Marantha.  Come Lord Jesus.

May God be Praised

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