Sunday, 3rd Week in Advent, December 17, 2023

Fr. Rick’s Two-Minute Homily for Sunday, 3rd Week in Advent,

December 17, 2023, John 1:6-8, 19-28
https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/121723.cfm

“I Am a Voice. Who are You?

“Hi, I’m Father Rick. Who are you?”

That is pretty much how we introduce ourselves to each other. We might give some more detail if we stick around and say, “I am a priest.” Well, they probably know that already because of my collar.

Then, if the conversation goes a little longer and we feel comfortable, we might even share something about our faith. John the Baptist was asked, “Who are you?” He introduced himself and his faith rather strangely. “I am a voice.”

I wonder if I came on the altar at the beginning of Mass and said, “Good Morning, everyone. I am an ear or a heart or open hand.” I might say something like, “I am an iron fist” or a backbone.” How would you describe yourself to someone?

People wanted to know who John was when he baptized everyone, calling people to repentance. He said he wasn’t Elijah or the prophet but a voice because he spoke for God. John had a sense of peace in what he told people.

John wanted us to know that we are children of God. Baptism makes us so. But we can forget who we are to God and see ourselves as bosses who can’t leave their role at the office and demand the same from family members. It works in the office. Why not at home?

How about the mom or dad who corrects everything their 30-year-old child does when raising their own children? Sometimes, we have an image of ourselves that has stayed with us because someone saw us as “stupid” when we were younger, and it stuck.

Like John, we have to say, “I am not any of those things.” John saw himself as a voice pointing out to people all the things they were “not” because of their sins. We have to take a closer look at the identity we portray to ourselves and others and ask, “Is this the Truth? Is this how God my Father sees me.”

Are you an open ear that listens deeply to another’s sorrow? Are you an generous hand without even thinking about it? Are you an open heart full of mercy for everyone, even people who hurt you? Who are you in the eyes of Jesus?

The refreshing Sacrament of Reconciliation is an opportunity for Jesus to call us out of our darkness and begin walking in the Light of the Lord.

Gospel Challenge:

Take a quiet moment and imagine who you are in the eyes of our Savior, past all your sins and erroneous identity. Confess them to the priest and welcome the absolution of Jesus that strips these false images of their power and grip on minds and hearts.

Confession: Monday – Friday this week, 6 to 7 pm.
Tuesday Penance Service

Love Your Neighbor
Please join me in praying for all baptized Catholics to be faithful to Jesus in the Holy Mass every weekend. Hail Mary, full of grace…

Mother Mary, “I am yours now and forever. Through you and with you, I always want to belong completely to Jesus.” The Surrender Novena – InHeartland. https://inheartland.com/pages/the-surrender-novena

Peace be with you.

Fr. Rick Pilger, IC
www.bscchurch.com

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