Watch! Christ is coming. Watch! He is already here.
Reflections on the readings for the First Sunday of Advent (November 29, 2020): IS 63:16-17,19;64:2-7; PS 80:2-3,15-16,18-19; 1 COR 1:3-9; MK 13:33-37
MISSIO offers “Preaching Mission,” as a homily help, providing connections to mission from the readings of Sundays, Feast Days and Holy Days.
We know that we are mortal and that each day God gives us is precious – if we use it in His service, for the good of His people, and for our own eternal welfare. We need not be filled with dread at the thought of death.
On this first Sunday in Advent, we hear Jesus tell His disciples to remain watchful and alert. This is a season when we are asked to look back in time to the coming of the Son of God as a baby born to the Virgin Mary as well as forward to His second coming at the end of the world. The Gospel reading contains a parable about a man who goes on a trip and leaves his servants in charge. He makes it clear that each one of them has been assigned a unique responsibility. “Watch, therefore; you do not know when the Lord of the house is coming, whether in the evening, or at midnight, or at cockcrow, or in the morning. May he not come suddenly and find you sleeping. What I say to you, I say to all: ‘Watch!’” (Mark 13:35-37). For nearly two thousand years the followers of Jesus have been waiting. Among the first generations of Christians, many thought the time would come quickly. Now, many rarely even think about the final coming of Christ or what it means.
But we need to take the words of our Lord seriously, whether or not the world ends tomorrow or in in a future millennium. We know that we are mortal and that each day God gives us is precious – if we use it in His service, for the good of His people, and for our own eternal welfare. We need not be filled with dread at the thought of death. We need to stay awake and aware so that we can appreciate all God gives us, day after day. Even in the most troubled times, graces and blessings abound if look for them. He loves us and wants us to return His love. He wants us to see the beauty around us; not only in nature, but also in one another. When we see the face of Christ in others – not only our loved ones, but people we often ignore or actively dislike – we are preparing to meet our Lord face to face. He calls us to truly recognize Him and love Him in every sister and every brother. Then our Lord will surely bring us finally home to Himself. Watch! Christ is coming. Watch! He is already here.