All those Advents... All those Christmases

Perhaps the fact that we are in the season of Advent does not make much of a difference in our day to day lives.

After all, we donít need the liturgy to remind us that Christmas is just around the corner.

Personally, I am at the age where after 50 years in Parish ministry, I am able to reflect upon all those Advents... all those Christmases.

It is true that essentially nothing much has changed. Isaiah, Paul, Luke, flowering plants, seasonally expanded congregations, better collections and the constant challenge to be fresh and current in oneís preaching while dealing with the same texts over and over.

I have several hundred of my homilies on file. Some are so tired as to be beyond resuscitation! There are others which, with a little surgery and a lot of polishing, might just get by... it has worked here more than once!

On the surface it looks like we might have a serious problem of stagnation.

But wait, I suggest that we do have the necessary important variables in the mix. Those variables are you and me.

Yes the Gospels and, to a lesser degree, the liturgical cycle are carved in stone but we are constantly evolving as individuals and, consequently, as society.

We can and should hear the voices of Sacred Scripture within the context of developing experience and fresh insights.

We can, in other words, read the same words year after year and yet the main thrust of the message they convey will undergo subtle and sometimes not so subtle changes as we mature, age, suffer, adjust priorities, become richer or poorer, healthier or handicapped.

That is the power of the inspired words of Sacred Scripture and even of the minimally inspired words of qualified commentators. They will always find us where we are.

And if we listen with care they will help us to focus on the timeless miracle of the Eucharist with a sense of reverent awe and of humble gratitude.

Lord it IS good for us to be here!

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