Dec 27, 2007

Homily for the 4th Sunday of Advent - Mass with the WYD Cross - Cronulla parish, 22nd December, 2007.

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Christmas is the season of dreams. It is a time for happiness, for joy and for peace.

Today’s Gospel tells us the story of the dream of Joseph. Joseph in fact had three dreams which are documented in the Gospels.

In each instance, the angel calls Joseph to action and Joseph obeys. In this first instance, the angel commands Joseph to take Mary as his wife.   In 2:13, the angel will tell Joseph to take the mother and child to Egypt to escape Herod's wrath.  In 2:19, the angel will, at the death of Herod, tell Joseph to return to Israel


Joseph received the news of the pregnancy of Mary. For Joseph, he would have heartbroken. Mary was meant to be his wife, but in all worldly and scientific reasoning, Joseph would have been forgiven for thinking that Mary had been unfaithful, that Mary had become pregnant from another man.


But Joseph receives the message of the angel concerning Mary’s pregnancy. Joseph then has to make an act of faith. Faith my friends has two dimensions. Firstly it requires the action of God, through his Word, through his people in the world and through events that occur. But it also requires an act of our will. Each of us has to choose to believe.


Don’t expect to always have all the answers in life. If we had all the answers then we wouldn’t need to make a choice – the answer would be obvious.


Christ is real. The cross is a sign that Christ is real. It is a sign that Christ, that God became man, that Jesus Christ died and that Jesus has risen to glory. But the cross is not going to force you into believing in it.


The cross is an opportunity for us to make an Act of Faith.

To say: Jesus I believe you are real. Jesus I believe that you became a man, that you died and rose and that you have risen to glory, opening heaven and offering a place for me.


Tonight is an opportunity to receive Jesus in to your heart.


With the cross, with belief in Christ, people will not look at you the same.

People will not look at us the same.


Do not be afraid.


We are here in this church, three days before Christmas, because like Joseph, we are faithful and we trust in God.   We don’t rely on ourselves; we rely on God’s power and God’s mercy.  Today many of us have lifted up the cross – the image of Christ’s salvation for us. But it is the cross that lifts us up daily. It is the cross that helps us to walk on our journey towards meaning, towards peace and towards eternal life.


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