Appleton, WI

Nov 27 Homily Connect: Advent’s Purpose


Jesus said to his disciples: “Be watchful! Be alert! You do not know when the time will come.
It is like a man traveling abroad.

Meghan the Duchess of Sussex-A Story

  • Her experience of miscarrying their second child
  • Prince Harry and Meghan in the hospital clinging to each other
  • Only way to begin healing is asking “Are you Ok?”

Meghan Recounts the Overwhelming Darkness of Previous Nine Months

  • Fear of getting the virus
  • Unsettling relationships between white and black people
  • The deep divisions between people in our country

She Concludes

  • We are adjusting to a new normal-our face are covered
  • We are forced to look into each other’s eyes-sometimes seeing warmth-other times tears
  • We are really seeing each other
  • Are we OK? We will be?

This is the Promise of Advent

  • Healing and Hope is possible
  • We will be OK
  • We can be better and we will be better

Advent’s Purpose

  • Slow down to wake up
  • How is Jesus coming into your life?
  • Sometimes it is too easy to miss Jesus’ closeness to us or even to feel that closeness
  • We are inattentive to the sacred because we are not watching for the sacred

Meister Eckhart, the great German mystic of the Middle Ages

  • Suggested that deep watching must exist side-by-side with activity
  • Watching brings an added dimension to working.

John Shea, in his Commentary on Mark’s Gospel

  • Reminds us that Meister Eckhart suggested that this give-and-take between contemplation – which is a heightened attentiveness to Jesus’ closeness to us
  • Action or our work or busy-ness – is like a door and a hinge. These are
  • John Shea’s says: “The door swings back and forth engaging what is happening, but the hinge stays steady, anchoring the door and allowing it to move freely. The unmoved watcher and the moving worker live side by side.”

Fr. Bill Believes

  • Advent’s invitation to us is to focus more closely on the watcher role
  • We become aware of the place of stillness in our lives
  • In the midst of the chaos, there can be a deep-down stillness that keeps us steady and hopeful
  • It is said that in the eye of the hurricane – at the storm’s center – there is perfect stillness.

Jesus is Our Stillness

  • Our friendship with Him keeps us steady and hopeful
  • Steadiness and hopefulness that can spill over upon all of our relationships
  • Making better all of humanity and even healing our common home – our planet Earth.

This is the promise of Advent!

  • We put our lives into the hands of the Lord, like clay in the potter’s hand
  • If we are watchful and alert, Jesus always has our back.
  • We will be OK!

Questions for Reflection

  • What impacted you from today’s Gospel and/or homily?
  • How difficult is to be “alert and watchful” especially during this time?
  • What practices might have worked for you in the past?
  • What new practice might you try this year?

Live Connected

Consider staying alert and watching for Jesus with another person.  Join a St. Mary’s Connect Groups or phone a friend frequently to share how you encountered Jesus this Advent.