Sunday, November 22, 2020

Tying up loose ends

Before the sermon, a little something for St Cecilia's Day

Sermon for the Sunday next before Advent

Is Sunday the first day of the week or the last? 

Either way it has its place in the weekend in the same way that a piece of string has two ends: one of those ends is a beginning.

Sunday is always about Resurrection. It is the centre of our Faith and the beginning of a new week. It is the first day of Creation; it is the first day of the Church Militant; it is the first day of the liturgical year.

Today, however, is a last Sunday. How can a last ever be a first?


In our experience, life falls into cycles and circles: as we orbit the sun, we see the seasons come and go; as the planet spins, we see day become night and night become day; we see birth and death and we think they are different.

But there are cycles we don't see because we don't live long enough. Ice ages have come and gone; there have been mass extinctions as the planet has changed and new species have risen to take their place. Our whole solar system orbits the galaxy every two hundred million years. 

It seems everything happens in cycles. Ends and beginnings get tied together.

But the Incarnation of Our Lord, His Life, His Work, His Death, His Resurrection, aren't these just a one-off? These aren't repeated. And neither are we. We don't go round again, do we?


Sunday gives us the answer: the first day of Creation, the day of Resurrection. Our Lord Jesus Christ Himself ties our creation to our resurrection. We die because we sin and we sin because we die as St Paul tells the Romans. Death and sin are tied together. In being made Man, God gives us someone for us to tie ourselves to. Our births and our deaths become united in Him and we are raised to a new life with Him.

But we cannot be tied to Christ and to sin. A string only has two ends and we need both our ends to be tied to Christ. 


As our liturgical year ends, so we are reminded that the cycle begins again in order to help us untie ourselves from sin and unite ourselves to Christ. Now is the time to reflect on the year that is gone and prepare for the year that is coming. Now is the time to see Christ ascend into Heaven and prepare to see Him in the manger. Now is the time to allow the cycles of the Church year to tie our loose ends together more tightly in Christ.

In tying ourselves to Christ we tie ourselves to Eternity and to joy.

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