“The days are coming, says the Lord, when I will fulfill the promise I made to the house of Israel and Judah." (Jeremiah 33:14)
Reflections on the readings for the First Sunday of Advent (November 28, 2021): JER 33:14-16; PS 25:4-5,8-9,10,14; I THES 3:12—4:2; LK 21:25-28,34-36
MISSIO offers “Preaching Mission,” as a homily help, providing connections to mission from the readings of Sundays, Feast Days and Holy Days.
God – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – is faithful. Time and eternity belong to God and we humans can never really understand anything except as He reveals it to us.
On this first Sunday of Advent we celebrate the start of a new liturgical year. The season is one of preparation for the coming of Christ – both His coming two thousand years ago in Bethlehem and His second coming at some time known only to God. In the first reading today from the prophet Jeremiah we hear how the Lord will send a Messiah from the house of King David to all the Jewish people. All are encouraged to rely on the word of the Almighty. In the second reading, Christians who are anticipating the return of the Son of God are told to act as they have been taught. Then they will be ready. “May the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, just as we have for you, so as to strengthen your hearts, to be blameless in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all His holy ones. Amen” (1 Thessalonians 3:12-13). It is not hard to see why a number of early Christians thought that the end of the world was imminent. After all, our Savior had come among them and shared His mercy and wisdom. He offered Himself up in sacrifice for all people and opened the gates of heaven. Jesus promised eternal life to those who follow His way of love. Yet, still we wait.
God – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – is faithful. Time and eternity belong to God and we humans can never really understand anything except as He reveals it to us. As we move through Advent we look back to the first time our Savior came to us on earth. We think about the children of Abraham, Moses, and David who awaited His arrival, although most did not recognize Him when He came. We consider whether we would have willingly opened our hearts to believe in Him then. We rejoice that we have been granted the faith to believe in Him now – and we thank God for this precious, irreplaceable gift.