Advent, 3rd Sunday (C) On August 5, 2010, the San José Mine near Copiapó, Chile, suffered a major collapse. Miners close to the surface were able to escape, but 33 miners were trapped deep underground. Rescue operations began immediately. It took 17 days to drill a hole into the underground refuge. All the men were alive and well and they had just run out of rations. Another, larger hole as drilled into the mine. The miners helped in their own rescue by sharing information and clearing debris. A rescue capsule just 54 cm (21 in) in diameter was used the extract them. On the first full trip it lowered a rescuer down into the mine. This man would prepare each miner for their ascent. He was the last to leave.

We are living in a collapsing mine. God created a beautiful world, but our sins have destabilized the world and cut us off from heaven. Rescue operations began immediately. Got sent messages and prophets to his people. When everything was ready, he sent his Son. Jesus is here with us to prepare us for our ascent. We will each be loaded one by one into the rescue vehicle which we call a "casket". We gather every week in the refuge of our church to breath the fresh air of heaven, listen to messages from above, and take our rations for the week. We must help each other stay strong and await our rescue. Rejoice! Our rescuer is already here among us.

(12 Dec 2021)

Going Deeper: Read more about the 2021 Copiapó Mining Accident. Prayerfully consider how God might be inviting you to help in your own rescue, and help others also be saved.

This homily is based on Rescue Operation Thirty-Three | #421, a homily I preached seven years ago. I am grateful for the Mission Partners and supporters whose contributions have helped me record and publish homilies for now the twelfth consecutive year. At you can go back and hear them all, an estimated 584 homilies or 4 days, 22 hours, and 22 minutes of listening time.

photo by Alyssa