10 December, 2011

Homily for the GSS's Advent Carol Service (B) 2011

Advent is a very special season. Yet, every year we see it losing ever more meaning for people outside the Church; for Christians too we see it losing its penitential tones and its sense of expectation.  

During this time the Church invites us to retrace the steps of the ancient prophets – particularly of Isaiah – and to make ready the second coming of Jesus. The prophets looked forward to His coming as the Messiah, the saviour of all God’s people and we look forward to His coming again in glory, when all things will be gathered in Him.
 
We have a hint of this glorious coming when we gather for worship; and particularly so when we come together to celebrate the Eucharist.

When we attend to the altar we have a foretaste of the heavenly feast, of the banquet foretold by the prophets, where people of every nation will be gathered to share at God’s table. Moreover, at the altar we are also able to experience – even only in passing – a glimpse of the glory which lies ahead; when Christ’s kingly splendour will be revealed to all. In other words, at the altar we can peek through the curtain of heaven and see Jesus on his glorious throne.

As servers of the sanctuary, be reminded of these things every time you approach the altar. Be always conscious of the fact that Jesus present there is the same One who one day will come in triumph and will raise us to His glorious throne.

Pull out all the stops, as it were, and make sure that our Eucharistic worship is a true foretaste of heaven; make sure that you wait patiently on Jesus and serve Him mysteries as faithful as you can, while hastening in your heart His coming.

To truly live Advent is to live as conscious of the fact that we live in between times, between the gospel times and Jesus’ return. Each year we look forward to celebrate his birth at Christmas when He was born humble and poor, but even more we should long to see Him at His return. For now, for the long Advent time that is our life, we approach Him at the altar and we must render Him all the glory and honour which is due and fitting to Him, to the King of Kings.

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