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4th Sunday of Advent, C

posted 19 Dec 2015, 08:11 by St Wilfrid RC Haltwhistle   [ updated 2 Jan 2016, 12:51 by StJohns Annitsford ]


20th December 2015 – 4th Sunday of Advent, C

H.B. & Hw.


Tommy Feheley was a listener. Tommy sat at the front.

Tommy held his hand to his ear. Tommy never missed a word.

And Tommy Fehelèy was my grandfather. What a gift it is to

meet someone who really listens.

"Hear, 0 Israel" is the daily recitation of the devout Jew.

"Hear, 0 Israel". The psalmist exclaims, "0 that today you

would listen to his voice!" Cardinal John Cannel Heenan

opened every conference with the same wording in a retreat he

gave us in the sixth form. "0 that today you would listen to his

voice, harden not your hearts." We listened!


 A positive relationship with God begins with listening.

Listening is more important than any ritual sacrifice. This

morning's liturgy without listening is pointless.

The voice of God, really listened to, 'received by the ears of

the heart', always, always, always brings good news. It calls

us to freedom. It binds up our, broken hearts. If we believe,

really believe what we hear, we are set free. We are healed.

But the tragedy of the human condition has the power to

destroy our faith.


So the prophet, Micah, points us to a positive future. Micah

also teaches us about the time of waiting and the time of

feeling deserted and abandoned. The 'mills of God' do indeed

grind slowly. There is no other way!


So we all have to face belief in the face of seeming desertion,

trust and certainty against the odds. It takes a leap of faith on

our part and a trust that does not demand proof.

So, “when faced with a radical crisis, when the old way of

being in the world, of interacting with each other and with the

realm of nature doesn't work anymore, when survival is

threatened by seemingly insurmountable problems, an

individual human - or a species - will either die or become

extinct or rise above the limitations of their condition through

an evolutionary leap", a leap of faith. And radical crisis

becomes radical creativity; A new heaven and a new earth!

Mary takes the great leap of faith. Mary believes and permits

the divine voice to take flesh. The Good News takes flesh in

Mary because she listens and believes. And the joy of the Holy

Spirit will fill us to the extent that we listen and believe.

As St. Ambrose says in his commentary on St. Luke's Gospel:

"But you too, who have heard and have believed, are blessed.

Every soul who has believed both conceives and generates the

Word of God and recognises his works." And that is a new

consciousness, empowered to create  new heaven and a new