Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Tuesday 21 September |
The Feast of Saint Matthew the Apostle

Let There Be Light: Homily for December 6, 2015, 2nd Sunday of Advent

Deacon Greg Kandra - published on 12/05/15

Note: I’m preaching at the Rite of Welcome for our parish’s RCIA candidates tomorrow, so this homily (by necessity, shorter than usual) is primarily for them. 

We find ourselves on this second Sunday of Advent in the desert, hearing the voice of one crying in the wilderness. “Prepare the way of the Lord!” Make straight his paths. Valleys will be filled, mountains will be leveled.

What John the Baptist is talking about requires more than a shovel and a big earth mover. He’s talking about the geography of our hearts. As we get ready for Christmas, for God coming into the world, we need to make our hearts accessible. Tear down barriers. Simplify what we have made complicated.

Of course, once we remove all those obstacles, we make it easier to see the world around us.

We also let in more light.

And that, after all is what we are waiting for, what the world craves during this bleak time of the year. Light.

We need it. Now, more than ever. As we saw last week, in the tragedy of San Bernardino: we are a world being overwhelmed by darkness.

We live in an age when mass murder is being committed, again and again, in the name of religion…when politicians and the press ridicule faith…and when a new phrase has become part of the American lexicon: “prayer shaming.”

But at a moment when religion is being debased and devalued, when faith is being belittled, I look out at our candidates and catechumens this morning, and see something else.

I see hope.

You are a great sign to the world.

Moments after you entered this church, you were asked a question, “What do you ask of God’s church?” And you offered this simple, beautiful answer:


You may not realize it, but this is profoundly countercultural. I’d even call it defiant. It goes against prevailing attitudes in the world.

In a time of doubt…you are embracing faith.

In a cynical  and disbelieving age…you are declaring belief.

In a world clouded by darkness…you want to bring light.

This is your calling. But it is, in fact, the calling of all of us who are Catholic Christians.

At the Easter Vigil, you will see that calling made manifest, as you receive a flickering candle and join all of us in carrying the light of Christ. That night this sacred place, as dark as a tomb, will become, literally, a thousand points of light.

We get a small taste of that now, as one by one we light the candles of the Advent wreath. As the days grow shorter and the nights grow longer, this wreath grows brighter. It becomes clearer: This is what defines us as Catholic Christians.

We seek light.

And we want to carry it into the world.

My friends in the RCIA process: our community is uplifted and enriched because you want to be a part of it. As St. Paul writes in today’s epistle: “I am confident of this, that the one who began a good work in you will continue to complete it.” We welcome you with joy.

I am confident of this, too:

In a broken and grieving world, you are signs of hope.

You remind us of Advent’s deeper meaning, this glorious truth: Light is coming.

So, prepare the way. Tear down the mountains. Clear the path.

Let there be light.

Let there be Christ. 

Photo: Wikipedia Commons

Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...

Top 10
Domitille Farret d'Astiès
Attacked with acid as a baby, Anmol Rodriguez overcomes and inspi...
Esteban Pittaro
Argentine “Mother Teresa” was a former model and actress who embr...
Philip Kosloski
Your body is not a “shell” for your spirit
Our Lady of La Salette
Philip Kosloski
How Our Lady of La Salette can give us hope in darkness
Cerith Gardiner
12 Habits of Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati that every young adult...
Visalia CHURCH
J-P Mauro
The largest Catholic parish church in the US will soon be in Cali...
Zelda Caldwell
A pilgrimage to Paris’ Chapel of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal
See More