Not in Promiscuity and Lust

(Homily for First Sunday of Advent, Year A)

Bottom line: If we have allowed disorder to take over in our lives, Advent is the time to put it away and put on Christ.

Before giving this homily I want mention two movies. One is very good and I recommend it for adults and teenagers. It is called Bella. See if you haven't already. It will lift up your soul. A second movie, on the other hand, is poison. It is based on a series of books which combine atheism and the occult - a strange combination because atheism denies God's existence and the occult draws on spiritual powers, not all of them good. I have provided some materials for parents on this movie. You can pick them up at the church entrances to help you in guiding your children. Enough said. Now for the homily:

Speaking through St. Paul, God has some strong words for us on this first Sunday of Advent. He says:

"not in orgies and drunkenness,
not in promiscuity and lust,
not in rivalry and jealousy.
But put on the Lord Jesus Christ,
and make no provision for the desires of the flesh."

I would like to tell you about a young person who made a remarkable testimony to turning from destructive behaviors and putting on Christ. Her name is Crystalina Padilla. When she was 16 or 17, what she most liked doing was going to parties. Now, a party is a gathering of people with music, food and fun. Nothing wrong with that. But sometimes the parties would get out of hand. Chrystalina would come home feeling sad, empty, used - and even dirty. After one of the parties she did not make it home. Instead she somehow wound up in front of an adoration chapel - like we have here at Holy Family. She entered and in that stillness, the Lord spoke to her. She decided to change her life.

She then did something which might seem a bit strange. She wrote a letter to her future husband. Now this could seem strange, but if you think about it, it really wasn't. Even though Crystalina did not know who her future husband would be, she knew that - after God - he would be the most important person in her life. She then began praying for him, especially when she attended Mass. She started attending daily Mass and she had offered about thousand Masses for her future husband. In her early twenties she met a young man named Jason Evert. They fell in love and during their engagement, Crystalina told Jason about the thousand Masses. Well, Jason realized where the grace came from to keep him on the right path.

Jason and Crystalina married and they have few children. They give presentations on chastity to young people. Chastity is the integration of one's sexuality. It is vital for young people, but it a task for a person's entire life.

Notice that Crystalina met Jesus in a moment of silence. Jesus spoke to her in the stillness of that Blessed Sacrament chapel. It is so important during Advent that we find time for silence. It is ironic that this time of preparation for Christ's Birth tends to be the busiest month of the year. We have so many distractions, so many commercials trying to get us to buy this or that. Our world is full of so much noise that we cannot hear God. I mentioned to you in the past the story Fr. Jim Williams told about a steel town in Pennsylvania. The mills ran day and night and the people got use to the constant noise. They slept right through it. But one night the power failed. The mills stopped. Everyone in the town woke up. Something like that has to happen to us during Advent. We need silence to stop sleepwalking, to wake up.

Pope Benedict spoke about this: "Put simply," he said, " we are not longer able to hear God - there are too many frequencies filling our ears." Our Holy Father has written a wonderful encyclical on hope. Please try to find a time during Advent to not only read it, but pray over it. We need silence, especially the stillness of the Blessed Sacrament, for God to speak to us. He calls us to a profound change:

"not in orgies and drunkenness,
not in promiscuity and lust,
not in rivalry and jealousy.
But put on the Lord Jesus Christ,
and make no provision for the desires of the flesh."

**********

Earlier Version

Spanish Version

From Archives (First Sunday of Advent, Year A):

2013: One Taken, One Left
2010: Please Hold the Applause
2007: Not in Promiscuity and Lust
2004: The Night is Advanced
2001: The Noise Stopped
1998: Late, But Not Too Late

Seapadre Homilies: Cycle A, Cycle B, Cycle C

Sunday Homilies

Audio Files of Homilies

Podcasts of homilies (website of my niece, Sara)

Evidence for God's Existence from Modern Physics (MP3 Audio File)

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Parish Picture Album

(November 2010)

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Dawn Eden offers advice on preaching about chastity (which I will keep in mind the next time I give a homily on chastity)

Bulletin (Advent Confessions, Our Lady of La Vang Dedication, Prison Ministry, Benjamin Franklin on Immigration)

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