Our theme for this Advent-Christmas season is “Good News of Great Joy!” Yet, the scriptures today seem full of bad news – nations in dismay; people dying of fright; the powers of heaven shaken. They almost seem to be talking about the daily headlines as we witness so much violence and terrorism in the world. Many people are on edge, especially in large cities. And all of us wonder where this world is headed.
All the more reason we need “Good News of Great Joy!” The good news of Christ’s coming is in fact the antidote to all that afflicts our troubled world. For in Jesus we encounter God’s love and mercy, which alone has the power to heal the wounds of sin and division. It is Jesus who brings us true and lasting joy – the joy of being reconciled to God and to one another. When the angels announced “good news of great joy” to the shepherds they also proclaimed “peace on earth.” Peace is the fruit of those who hear the good news and take it to heart!
This is why the task of evangelization (proclaiming the good news) is so important. The solution to what ails our world does not lie in political or economic strategies, but in conversion. It should not surprise us that as the world drifts further and further from God the culture spins out of control. The world desperately needs to hear the “Good News of Great Joy.” The world needs Jesus Christ.
The Advent-Christmas season is a prime time for you and me to share this Good News. At holiday parties, family gatherings, wherever the “season” is being celebrated we have an opportunity to speak about Jesus – the “reason for the season.” Many people are just waiting for an invitation to come to Mass or to attend Alpha. It’s not complicated: “Would you like to join our family at Mass sometime?” “Our parish is offering this course on Jesus, would you be interested?” That’s all it takes. If you want to help heal the world … do it.