First Sunday of Advent (José Antonio Pagola)

Ross Reyes DizonHomilies and reflections, Year CLeave a Comment

Author: José Antonio Pagola · Translator: Rosalino Reyes Dizon. .
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Indignation and hope

One indestructible conviction that sustains from the start the faith of Jesus’ followers is this:  human history, buoyed up by God, is headed toward its definitive liberation.  The unbearable contradictions of human existence as well as the horrors that are committed in every epoch should not destroy our hope.

This world that supports us is not definitive.  One day the whole creation will give “signs” that it is coming to its end, so as to give way to a new and freed life that none of us can imagine or understand.

The gospels have a recollection of Jesus’ reflection about the end-time.  Paradoxically, his attention is not focused on the “cosmic events” that may be brought about at such moment.  His main objective is to lay out for his followers a way to live lucidly as they face this horizon.

The end of history is not chaos, the destruction of life, complete death.  Slowly, amid light and darkness, listening to the calls of our heart or ignoring the best in us, we walk toward the ultimate mystery of the reality that we believers call “God.”

We should not live trapped by fear or anxiety.  The “last day” is not a day of wrath and revenge, but rather of liberation.  Luke summarizes Jesus’ thought with these admirable words:  “Stand erect and raise your heads because your redemption is at hand.”  Only then shall we indeed know how much God loves the world.

We must rekindle our confidence, lift our spirit and awaken our hope.  One day the financial powers that be will sink.  The senselessness of the powerful will end.  The victims of so many wars, crimes and genocides will know life.  Our efforts to create a more human world will not be forever wasted.

Jesus takes pains to shake his followers’ consciences.  “Beware that your minds do not become dull.”  Don’t live like fools.  Don’t be carried away by frivolity and excesses.  Keep outrage alive.  “Be vigilant at all times.”  Don’t be slack.  Live lucidly and responsibly.  Never tire.  Stay intense always.

How are we living these times, hard for almost everybody, distressing for many, and cruel for those sinking into helplessness?  Are we awake?  Do we live asleep?  Starting from the Christian communities, we have to enliven indignation and hope.  And there is only one way:  to be with those who are being left with nothing, those sunk in hopelessness, rage and humiliation.

José Antonio Pagola

December 2, 2012
1 Advent (C)
Luke 21:25-28, 34-36

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