Mice & silence: A homily for the Fourth Sunday of Advent (C)

downloadThis year we celebrate the 200th anniversary of the song Silent Night. It was written in just a few hours–both the words and the tune. A man from a little church in Austria composed it in 1818 because the church organ cords had been chewed apart the night before….by mice.  What a story!  Three thoughts about this tune and its story.

  1. We should thank God for the mice in our lives. The song Silent Night has touched athe hearts and souls of so many.  We wouldn’t have the song today had the mice not done their work. There are people in our lives that drive us crazy, they annoy us, frustrate us, disappoint us, etc.  There are situations in our lives that are mice like.  But folks, on the other side, if we’re patient through it…is something beautiful, as beautiful as the song Silent Night.
  2. The song Silent Night tells of how God came to us.  Union with God has always been a desire of the human being.  Fulton Sheen points out that there’s only two possibilities as to how this can happen: either we go up to God, or God comes down to us. Christianity, Sheen notes, is the only religion to say that God comes down to us. The other ones, they insist that we humans must do this or that, and THEN we can be with God.  Christianity claims the opposite: it’s God who takes the initiative and comes down to us.  Now we have to RESPOND to this of course, but what a relief that the burden isn’t on us!
  3. Silence.  We all need silence.  JEsus was born in the silence; he entered the scene in silence.  He still enters our lives in silence.  From 2pm today until 2pm tomorrow (Christmas Eve), all are welcome to come to St Joe for adoration.  The trees will be lit, the lights nice and dim, and Jesus will be exposed. Drop by for some silence. I’ll be hearing confessions from 2pm until 9pm today, too.