Categories: HomiliesPublished On: December 5th, 2021Tags: , 626 words19 min read
Valleys, Hills, & Roads

Photo by Jake Blucker on Unsplash


Here are links to our readings for the day:

Valleys, Hills, & Roads

I have lived in Wisconsin for thirty years. There are three things that I have trouble understanding. One is why do we use letters to label the roads? Whenever I go someplace it is like an alphabet game. Second is the lack of straight roads. You cannot go very far before the road turns to the right or to the left. Third, when you do use numbers for your roads why do you use fractions? It is as if the people who developed the road system are purposely trying to keep you from reaching your destination. John recognizes the challenges in our lives today that prevent us from reaching our destination. He calls them valleys, hills, and winding roads.

Valleys. Let us reflect on the valleys in our life today. COVID has been a big valley. So big is this valley that it leads to additional valleys. There is the valley of depression. Depression was already a valley for many but now it has been exacerbated. There are the self-induced valleys of drug abuse and alcohol addiction, plunging one even deeper into depression. Each of us has our own personal addictions keeping us in the valley where we can never experience the love of God.

Hills. We can give the hills a name of the sins that keep us chained. The greatest hill might be named pride. St. Francis de Sales claims there are a lot of people in heaven who had many sins, but those with the sin of pride are not in heaven. He also said there are a lot of people in hell who did many good deeds, but there is no one in hell who practiced the virtue of humility. There is a Litany of Humility you might consider praying between now and Christmas. I can warn you though, it is convicting.

Winding Roads. Just like in Wisconsin, the road to God and eternal life is not a straight path. There are curves and sharp corners. And detours. Detours that take you off the path often led to discoveries that you need to understand the path you are on. For example, studying the Old Testament to understand God’s plan. Knowing which Herod is in charge and who the other people are in the gospel gives us a clearer understanding of the time Jesus is born. The most important thing here is to stay with God’s plan, detours, and all.

In the desert. A voice calling out from the wilderness, the desert around Israel. John went to the desert to search for God. He discovered that he is the voice crying out in the desert. John needed to get away from the clutter and noise that surrounded him to hear the voice of God. All during Advent, you will hear your pastor speak about finding that time to get away from the noise and all the clutter surrounding you. But what happens? You have gone to the basement or the garage and have found the red and green tubs. You have been spent hours decorating your home, some might call it adding to the clutter. You have rearranged furniture to make everything fit. The music is on all the time trying to calm your nerves with favorite Christmas carols, but it feels as if you have just added to the noise. All this when all you want is a little peace and quiet before the celebrations of Christmas.  Must be time to go to the desert. You can make a change.

May the Lord bless you in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen