FR WILLIAM'S HOMILY
Year C 2022
Make a straight highway for our God across the desert. These are the words of our First Reading from the book of Isaiah.
Here in Gympie, we would be familiar with highways since a new one is being built from Woondum to Curra, and not to mention the Bruce, through which many of us have ventured. But if you log onto the internet and look up the new highway, the website suggests benefits of building this new highway include; reduced travel time, improved safety, contributing to the economy, and contributing to regional growth.
But the highway of our first reading has different benefits than the one built down the road.
The highway we've been given will allow us to shout with a joyful voice. The highway we've been given will enable us to shout without fear. That highway is Christ.
If we allow ourselves to travel through Christ, our whole outlook on life will change. We will become more patient, which means travel time will not phase us. We will become more aware of others, thereby willing the safety and good of the other. And we will help to spread the Kingdom of God in the world, growing God's love and reach within the region. These are just some of the benefits of travelling with and through Christ.
In our Gospel today, we hear of the Spirit resting on Jesus in the form of a dove. At our Baptism, we receive the Holy Spirit. Baptism is closely linked to the Sacrament of Confirmation because when we are baptised, we become the dwelling place of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit comes to rest in us. We are then called the 'temple' of the Holy Spirit.
Confirmation is a continuation of a person's commitment to their Baptism. Many have understood it to be the ownership of belief professed at Baptism; this is why it's done beyond the age of reason, considered to be seven according to the Church.
At Confirmation, we confirm what was professed at our Baptism, but we do it ourselves. Our parents were the ones who declared for us as children. This is why the link is crucial because Christ invites us to take the road less travelled and to claim before the nations that we/I belong to Him.
As the New Year begins, it's also an opportunity to stir that Spirit within and recommit to God in a new way. It doesn't have to be a grand and out there gesture, but something small and achievable. Perhaps you might start with thanking God for at least one thing at the end of the day. Or maybe say a little prayer before you hop into the car. Whatever it is, may it be the building block by which we become people of the Spirit.
Happy New Year.