Second Sunday of Advent  Year C 9 December 2018

It appears that the state of Victoria is to have yet another Royal Commission; this time the police. We will soon be a perfect state, maybe broke but cleaned up. I am reminded of a phrase from William Riley in his book on the Apocalypse: “Once we stray from our mission, we can find ourselves making messes, even if they are the results of good intentions.”

The proclamation of a baptism of repentance by John today, is as pertinent as it was “in the fifteenth year of Tiberius Caesar’s reign”.

We know, for we have been reading and listening to these accounts for years that life was not perfect during the rule of Pontius Pilate; nor did things improve under the leadership of Caiaphas, happily aided by his father-in-law Annas. Just ask those who witnessed their actions in the Sanhedrin!

Into this society appears John; a voice crying in the wilderness, but not ineffective. He too urged his followers, like many prophets before him, and many since, to give up extortion, blackmail, gouging and acquisitiveness and to begin to share with those more needy. And he won many followers and opened their hearts to the message of Jesus. No matter how small we feel, we can do the same. Through us “all mankind shall see the salvation of God.”

This week look for the voice of the Spirit whispering a message of hope and healing, even where the woundedness is greatest.

Come Lord Jesus!

Mons Frank

First Sunday of Advent    Year C   2 December 2018

Welcome to the new liturgical year. The Sunday Gospel readings are from Luke (Year C). It is good that we begin again and that we have these four weeks trying to get our heads around what we as Christians believe…the gift of Jesus Christ. We are called to go through his life and times, not as if we were being introduced to the story for the first time; rather we take our learned knowledge and try to build on that.

I would like to suggest that an aspect of this ‘New Beginning’ is rooted in the deep Christian call to be agents of hope. When Luke was writing, there were many examples in his world of ‘awfulness’. The Romans were rampaging, signs in various places seemed ominous; some would say “worlds are ending”.  But we are here. We are a new force for good in our seemingly collapsing world.

It is not difficult to see signs of doom and destruction around us, ask the Ukrainians. Talk to the drought and fire ravaged peoples. Consider Syria. Look at the persecutions of Christians. The annual report of the agency ‘Aid to the Church in Need’ reports that 300 million Christians are subject to abuses such as violence and arrest…and we think we are hard done by!

So, from the Evening prayer of the Church for the Vigil of Advent, I offer a structure for the coming week to direct part of your prayer.

You will bring us Wisdom                     e.g. tackling sexual abuse

Understanding         e.g…….

and New vision.              e.g.  the plenary Council

Come Lord Jesus do not delay.

You will bring us Good News              e.g…………

and Power to transform our lives.    e.g.  take action in the work place

Come Lord Jesus do not delay.

You will bring us   Truth.          e.g………….

Show us the way to the Father.      e.g. read the daily Advent Scripture

Come Lord Jesus do not delay.

Born of a woman, open in our flesh the way to eternal life.     e.g. renewed roles for women

Open in our flesh the joy of life                      e.g …….

Come Lord Jesus do not delay.

I have left gaps.   You add to all the offerings and have a wonder-filled Advent.

Mons Frank