ST. JUDE PARISH

17 MOUNT OLIVE ROAD, BUDD LAKE, NEW JERSEY

First Sunday in Advent: December 3, 2017

Fr4

A group of young people went to visit a famous guru well known for his wisdom. To test his wisdom, a young person asked the guru: “Master, I want to be in heaven after my death. So how many days before my death shall I prepare for that?” Immediately, the guru replied: “One day before your death.” This was an unexpected answer for the young man. Still, he braved to ask: “But how will I know when I am going to die?” In a calm voice, the guru replied: “Since we do not know the time, start preparing now.”

Today is the beginning of Advent season and this is a liturgical time to remind us that we must be prepared always. What God asks us is not to change, because change is automatic. What God asks of us is to be prepared, to grow, to mature and to change our evil actions for good actions. This is a time to transform our lives. What God asks us these days and beyond is conversion. Conversion of heart. The other day, someone said to me: “Father I want to change but I can’t.” I said: “Well, you cannot change because change is automatic, and you are right, you cannot change. What you need to do is to make the decision to grow spiritually and to be a better person by doing good for others.” In this way we have to understand the Gospel today — Jesus asks us to keep alert and watch, for we do not know when the time will come when we have to leave the earth.

Brothers and sisters: Our responsibility is to lead our lives to Jesus’ heart and help others to do likewise. The first thing to start this preparation is to examine our heart. Be sure your heart is free of resentment, hatreds and bitterness. Transformation is from within us.