The peaceable kingdom
Sunday, December 8, 2019
We hear the preaching of John the Baptist this weekend in Matthew’s Gospel. He confronts the Pharisees and Sadducees by calling them a “brood of vipers.” He tells them that they should not rest on their religious routine. It is time for repentance.
It is good to be shaken a bit from our regular routine, as John the Baptist does today. The prophet reminds us that we also need to repent, turn away from our own interests and turn toward God. He calls us to die to ourselves and rise with Christ.
Isaiah the prophet describes a beautiful messianic dream of the ideal kingdom. In this kingdom, creatures that have long been enemies will live in peace together. This is an ideal dream for our own communities. It may, however, seem impossible for worldwide peace given the conflicts today. Yet for those of us who are Christian, a primary focus of Advent is the kingdom of God. Let us keep this vision of peace before us and take small steps toward making this vision a reality in our lives. One step is to greet someone you don’t know. Begin today by greeting someone perhaps someone seated in front of you or behind you here at church. This small step will help focus your eyes to see God’s kingdom. A kingdom that is already here.
On December 8th, you might expect to celebrate the solemnity of the Immaculate Conception. However, today we celebrate the Second Sunday of Advent. Tomorrow, December 9th, we will celebrate the Immaculate Conception. Mass will be celebrated at 8:30 am.
Thank you for your generous response to the Retirement Fund for Religious collection this weekend.
Thank you to all who provided gifts and support for the Giving Tree. This effort helps families and multiple agencies.
Have a blessed week!