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Author, Priest, Poet
November 30th, 2003 A.D.
Catholic Homilies
November 30th, 2003 A.D.

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First Sunday in Advent


  The Gospels at this time of the year are apocalyptic in tone with their scary image of the world coming to an end. This  Jewish rhetorical style emerged in the Judaism before the coming of Jesus because prophecy was no longer heard in the land. By its imagery and message it looked forward to a new creation. The old one would dissolve and in something like a new Genesis a new world would be born. There were also expectations of a similar new era in the world of Greece and Rome. A new astrological age was a booming. Perhaps the world was tired of all the wars and suffering. Anyway, it is not clear that Jesus himself used the apocalyptic style all that much. But Gospel writers used it to convey one of Jesus’s most important themes – Take advantage of the opportunities of the present moment.

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  Once upon a time a family won a trip to Ireland in a parish raffle. Everyone else in the parish was envious of them. Wouldn’t it be great to take your three kids to visit the land of their ancestors, all expenses paid. How come you’re so lucky. Well, the various members of the family were something less than excited.   The father didn’t think he could afford to be that far away from his job, even for week in the summer. Cell phones and e mail didn’t permit him to be as close to the situation as he would be if he went to the Lake for a week in the summer. At the Lake he could always drive into the city if a problem came up. The mother was afraid that the boss at her job would be upset about her going away, even if it were on a vacation week, because she felt he was looking for a reason to fire her. The fourteen year old girl did not want to leave her clique of friends, because she knew they’d talk about her behind her back. The ten year old boy did not want to miss his little league games. The seven year old daughter said she was afraid of airplanes. So they didn’t go. They traded the trip in for money. Maybe next year they could visit the Emerald Isle.

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They traded the trip in for money. Maybe next year they could visit the Emerald Isle
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