By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK
(Editor’s Note: When space permits, Fr. Cusick will conclude his column with a Catechism reflection to go with the Sunday readings.)
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Our sound-bite society may have found an almost perfect marriage with Twitter. Getting your message out in 140 characters or less, though, is nothing new. Some of our Lord’s most effective communication anticipated the need to get the attention of others quickly and effectively when there is much competition for their hearts and minds. And Pope Francis frequently uses Twitter!
Among these urgent messages is the admonition to “stay awake,” to remain alert for the coming of the Lord. The First Sunday of Advent presents us with the alarming image of a thief breaking into the security of a home, throwing our lives into a sense of the danger of the unknown.
I offered a homily in Tweets on the occasion of our return again as a Church to the holy season of preparation both for the Lord’s return at the end of life or the end of the world and His first coming at Bethlehem 2,000 years ago.
For those not familiar with Twitter, a hashtag — marked by the # sign — is used to mark keywords or topics in a Tweet.
The First Sunday Of Advent:
Reject The Idolatry Of Fear
A homily in Tweets:
#Evil can always be recognized by the stink of #denial which it bears: of death, of the end of the world, of judgment, Heaven, and Hell.
What is it we protect that throws us into dread at the prospect of judgment? Fear itself can become an idolatry that we protect, defending a sinful way of life as something we know that God wants us to reject. We think He wants to forcibly take sin away but, in fact, He lovingly waits in respect for our freedom.
Attempting to hide evil from God is impossible. We will never be able to do it. Honesty demands that we surrender to God’s merciful gaze if we wish to continue the happiness, the joy and fulfillment, we have known in this world eternally. Denial is an idolatry which brings fear with it and a sign that we are resisting God’s loving and merciful “breaking in” to our lives not to steal, but to give.
#Love is always recognized by the perfume it bears of #truth about all things which will one day end and thus the necessity of the #Eternal.
We know that someone truly loves us when they reject our denials, when they doggedly insist on the truth. God insists on the fact that this world as we know it “is passing away.” He will never abandon us, will never cease to call out to us in eternal and saving love in Jesus Christ through the Church, particularly in the liturgical proclamation of the Scriptures.
God alone is the Eternal One who provides a future for humanity. We must go to Him in order to receive the future He promises.
#Fear and the #denial of fear are #idols which make evident that we cannot face the #truth of #death, #judgment, #heaven, and #hell.
The true God insists on the total destruction of all those competing “gods” that we set up by our words, thoughts, and actions as substitutes for Him. The truth He offers is that only He can give us what we have been seeking as a reaction to our fears and sins. These idols must be destroyed in order to make room in our lives for the true God who outlasts death and the end of the world.
#Fear treats #God like one who breaks in uninvited to steal what is most precious to us: our #idols, #sins, #pride, and #selfishness.
When we take a step in God, He begins to restore us to the authentic freedom which can be ours only by life in Him. He does this by revealing Himself perfectly in the gift of Jesus Christ.
#Advent — this holy season is our opportunity to prepare in mind and spirit to receive the gift of Jesus Christ who can be received only by our minds and wills opened to Him by being awake to reject idols and remaining alert in freedom, prepared to receive Him and His love. (Follow Fr. Cusick on Facebook at Reverendo Padre-Kevin Michael Cusick and on Twitter @MCITLFrAphorism.)
Meeting Christ In The Liturgy: “Be Patient”
The Scriptures for the Third Sunday of Advent present images for the human person without God and the soul in expectation of His coming. The Catechism of the Catholic Church describes our life of faith like that of the prophets before us, “taking the desert road that leads to the place where the living and true God reveals himself to his people” (CCC, n. 2583).
We are “parched, lifeless, and without water” as the psalmist describes if we attempt to live without God. In Christ we have the abundant and living water through the life of Baptism in faith and the nourishment of the Body and Blood of Christ for food in order to exult with the life of God, to bloom in faith. Our lives, while always a gift, require patience to be fully appreciated because we are not fully satisfied while we remain without the fullness of God, which is possible only in Heaven.
“Purity of heart requires the modesty which is patience, decency, and discretion. Modesty protects the intimate center of the person” (CCC, n. 2533). (For more, visit mcitl.blogspot.com.)