Dec. 6, 2015: 2nd Sunday of Advent C
Have you ever been asked to share your faith with someone? Sometimes this happens when you are least prepared; you have no books or notes in front of you for reference. In those occasions, you can’t say, “Wait here a minute. Let me google that,” And you can’t say, “Let me ask my pastor to call you.” Simply put, you are it; you are the one whom God is sending to share the Good News. One lady shared a personal story of sitting in a plane getting ready for take off. A well dressed gentleman sitting next to her pulled out a bible, and after letting out a deep sigh turned towards her and asked, “Do you know what this book is all about? I’m an atheist, and my wife handed this book to me and said I should read it.” If you were put in that situation, how would you respond? Where would you begin? Do you think God is asking too much of you when He asks this of you?
When a very well known person was wrestling with what God had asked of her, she wrote in her diary: “My own Jesus--what You ask it is beyond me [...] I am unworthy--I am sinful--I am weak--Go, Jesus and find a more worthy soul, a more generous one. I am so afraid--This fear shows me how much I love myself. I am afraid of the suffering that will come.” Those very personal words belong to Mother Teresa. Reflecting on our own journey of faith, do we also find ourselves unworthy, too weak, sinful, and fearful to share with others our faith and relationship with God?
On this Second Sunday of Advent, we see in John the Baptist, our own calling--to lead all people to Jesus. How will we accomplish that? If we look to the life of Mother Teresa--a saint of our time--we see a life of love, compassion, and kindness. She didn’t use scholarly words. She preached by the way she loved. Though Mother Teresa felt unworthy, weak, and fearful of the role entrusted to her, like St. Paul, she trusted that she was not carrying out this role on her own strength. St. Paul said, “Brothers and sisters: I pray always with joy in my every prayer for all of you, because of your partnership for the gospel from the first day until now. I am confident of this, that the one who began a good work in you will continue to complete it until the day of Christ Jesus.”
There is power in God’s grace. Whether we admit it to others or not, in some way or another we have strayed from the path of faith. However, God has been compassionate and merciful to us, and He will always be compassionate and merciful. The fact that Mother Teresa was not born the same person she became, not already imbued with the qualities for which she would become famous, means that the rest of us, too, have hope to change and improve. We trust that through God’s grace, no matter our present shortcomings or lack of human qualities, we all have hope to arrive at deeper intimacy with God and deeper care for our neighbor; to live more generously and wholeheartedly, even in the midst of our own trials, and to make a difference with our life; to leave a legacy.
We might be thinking that we can’t be in the same league with Mother Teresa, but the ingredient that she had, that all of us have access to--is trust. Our Responsorial Psalm tonight was, “The Lord has done great things for us; we are filled with joy.” Do we recognize how the Lord has already done great things in us and for us? Do we trust in God that He will accomplish great things through us?
-Fr. Paul Yi