Lifeissues is mainly concerned with publishing thoughtful articles directly related to issues raised in Evangelium Vitae. However, from the very beginning, we have also published a few related homilies, notably by Fr. Al Cariño, O.M.I., Fr. Tony Pueyo, and others.
Please use the pulldowns below to select a homily by Liturgical Calendar date.
How are we to prepare for the coming of the Lord? Though the external trimmings add color to the occasion, what really counts is the preparation that takes place in our hearts.
If we do not want to meet anybody, it is because we are unprepared, ashamed, afraid, or feel unworthy. The Good News is that the Lord is eager to meet us and wants to come among us, even the way we are now. If the Lord is eager to meet us, even as we are, we naturally would like to make ourselves and our homes more presentable to Him.
The Prophet Isaiah had a vision of a future time of peace when swords will be turned into plowshares and spears into pruning hooks (Isaiah 2:1-5). I read a modern version of this in the newspapers. In one country, an award for community development in the form of a plaque was made from melted AK-47 gun barrels.
This Advent Season let us commit ourselves to works of mercy. If we do, we will find life, because we will find Christ, who chooses for his dwelling the weakest, poorest, lowliest of human beings, those to whom the world does not care to pay any attention. If we begin to pay attention to them, we will find Christ, we will find life, and our lives will be lit up by a light that shines in the darkness.
As we begin Advent I would suggest a new frame of mind for this season of promise, a simplified sense of time in the manner of Jesus Christ. As many of us Jesus also had much on his mind, the imminent tribulation he endured before his final entry into Jerusalem and his crucifixion, but still managed to instruct his disciples that "the Light is with you" [referring to himself] "for a little while longer. Walk while you have the light, lest the darkness overtake you ... while you have the light, believe in the light", John 12, 35-36. Peter, his Apostle, described the Light like a "lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rise in your hearts", 1 Peter 1, 35. Compared to eternity our lives can truly be understood as one day, "a little while", waiting for the night to pass and the rising of "the morning star" before dawn and the final Advent of Jesus Christ.
For us who are up there in age, it's really about climbing that mountain of the Lord and strengthening our brothers and sisters who are climbing with us. While we grab on to the arm of another who is ahead of us, we have to reach down and pull up those who are a few steps behind us who are having a difficult time in a difficult spot where we were just a moment ago or a few years ago.
Our choices determine our moral identity, and in heaven, we will wear our identity like clothing. In this world, our clothing conceals us, in heaven, our clothing reveals our deepest moral identity, who we are. It will be either beautiful clothing that reveals a beautiful moral identity, or it will be not so beautiful clothing, in which case we will flee from the gaze of God and the communion of saints in shame.