Choose Hope, not Fear! — Homily By Fr Jerry Orbos SVD

MOMENTS – November 28 2021 1st Sunday of Advent

The story is told about a baby snake who was so scared, and nervously asked its mother: “Mom, I bit my tongue! Are we poisonous?”

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In today’s Gospel (Lk. 21,25-28, 34-36) Jesus talks about people dying of fright in anticipation of the scary catastrophic happenings in the world at the “end times”. But instead of focusing on the perplexing signs and unimaginable sufferings up ahead, He reminds us to “stand erect and raise your heads because your redemption is at hand.”

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Today is the First Sunday of Advent, that season of joyful expectation, and diligent preparation for the coming of our Savior. Expectation without preparation is shallow. On the other hand, preparation without expectation is empty. Yes, let the Advent season be a time for us to joyfully welcome our Savior but also the time for us to diligently prepare and meet Him halfway.

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Today we light the first candle in our Advent wreath, the candle of hope. Let us courageously hope that the night of Covid-19 will be over soon! Let us set aside hopelessness and helplessness. God is in control, and He has perfect timing. He has promised that He will not abandon us.

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As a people, and as a nation, let us not give up our hope that a new breed of leaders can still rise and shine in our land. Let us not be cynical about true service, goodness and sacrifice from our public servants. Let us not lose heart, and we must not give in to dirty and filthy politics. Let us all work hard for our dreams, and keep on believing that dreams do come true, and that miracles can happen, still!

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Advent is the time for hope, not fear. May our hopes not be overwhelmed by our fears. Let us choose to make our hopes bigger than our fears. Let us all be whisperers of hope in our world so filled with doubts, hopelessness, and cynicism.

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One present day whisperer of hope is Fr. Flavie Villanueva, SVD, who received the Human Rights Tulip Award from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands for his work as a human rights defender, and for setting up a support group for families of victims of extrajudicial killings. He has also given so much hope to the poor and the marginalized with his Kalinga Center Project to give “dignified care for the homeless” in Manila.

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Today is day of the handicapped. May we become more mindful, and helpful to people who have disabilities and challenges in life. Let us become instruments of God’s presence and love especially to the handicapped, the poor, and the needy around us.

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You are invited by the University of the Philippines Student Catholic Action (UPSCA) to a zoom session on December 10, 2:00pm – 4:00pm, “A Catholic Perspective on the Elections”. It will be streamed live on UP Student Catholic Action’s Facebook page to help educate voters, guided by Christian values.

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Belated Happy Thanksgiving Day! But Thanksgiving day is not just a day. It is an attitude; a mindset we choose to have every day. Everyday is thanksgiving day. Let us live lives filled with thanks and filled with giving – THANKSGIVING!

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Someone said that what matters at our dining table is not so much the food before us, as the people who are with us.

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Join us in our First Friday Mass, 10 a.m. on Dec. 3, 2021 via our YouTube and Facebook channel “Fr. Jerry Orbos, SVD.”

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A moment with the Lord: Lord, may we become instruments of hope, not fear. Amen.

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