2nd Sunday of Advent
December 5, 2021
For God has commanded
that every lofty mountain be made low,
and that the age-old depths and gorges
be filled to level ground,
that Israel may advance secure in the glory of God.
~ Baruch 5:7
Brothers and Sisters,
How far into the distance can you see? The human eye is quite incredible – and its abilities may surprise you. Did you know that a person with average eyesight can view a candle flame from a distance of over a mile and a half? Or, when gazing out toward the horizon at, say, the beach or another flat location (unlike most of Maryland), most can see objects 3 miles in the distance.
That might not seem like a lot – and you’d be right because on prime evenings, without the aid of telescopes or special instruments, humans can see the planet Saturn in the night sky. Now consider that Saturn is some 746 million miles from us, and still, we can see it! And that distance is close in comparison to a vast number of stars considerably farther away. Amazing!
But despite these extraordinary abilities of human sight, obstacles like a majestic mountain or a man-made skyscraper can easily obstruct our vision.
Still, worse than these barriers are the hindrances that stem from the lies and brokenness of sin, which blot out all that is genuine, beautiful, and good in our lives. But when we accept our loving Father’s offer of healing from our failings, like the sins of pride or selfishness, our sight becomes restored, and we begin to see life differently. When faith informs our vision, the deceptions and distortions of this world fade, and our Lord’s radiant presence is recognized, no matter our circumstances — this is the exodus that the prophet Baruch speaks. How blessed are we to know God is engaged in the work of dismantling obstacles in our lives at all times, and his grace to heal our brokenness is unlimited. But we must take God up on his offer by cooperating with his grace. That’s why I encourage those who have been away from the Sacrament of Reconciliation to seek God’s healing in this tangible way. Welcome God’s forgiveness so that the falsehoods of the devil can fade from view, and we can clearly see with the eyes of faith – that we are worth saving and infinitely lovable in God’s eyes.
Join us also for our celebration of the Immaculate Conception, a holy day of obligation, which celebrates the victory of God’s grace – by which his intention of redeeming all of creation is made clear. Joachim and Ann conceive Mary, and by the power of the Holy Spirit, kept free from the influences and impact of all sin so that she’d be the worthy vessel of Christ. Mass will be offered outdoors near the Harrison Hall landing on Tuesday at 5 pm and on Wednesday, December 8, at 8:15 am and 7 pm in the Church. While Mary’s role is unique in all of creation, we too are called to be vessels for the Lord, and cooperating with God’s grace achieved by the merits of Christ, we are healed, restored, and made whole!
St. Joseph, pray for us.
Live Jesus in our hearts, forever.
Rev. Michael S. Triplett