“You know the time; it is the hour now for you to awake from sleep. For our salvation is nearer now than we first believed; the night is advanced, the day is at hand.” (Romans 13:11-12)
Reflections on the readings for the First Sunday of Advent (November 27, 2022): IS 2:1-5; PS 122:1-2,3-4,4-5,6-7,8-9; ROM 13:11-14; MT 24:37-44
MISSIO offers “Preaching Mission,” as a homily help, providing connections to mission from the readings of Sundays, Feast Days and Holy Days.
Expressing gratitude to Almighty God, especially after hardships, is deeply appropriate for people, although some of us neglect this. In today’s Gospel, we hear one of Jesus’ most famous miracles.
Just one week ago we revered the Solemnity of our Lord Jesus, King of the Universe. Today, we begin the new liturgical year with the First Sunday of Advent. Even as we go on worshipping Christ as our King, we now begin to turn our attention to His life on earth two thousand years ago as the Holy Infant of Bethlehem who grew to be Jesus of Nazareth. We also take time to think about all that came before Him through His own ancestors. These were the Jewish people beloved of God from Abraham and his wife Sarah down the generations. While we continue to contemplate, through each Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, His unfathomable yet magnificent gift of redemption, we must also look forward. We look to the next and final coming of Christ the King. And, while this is a time we can never predict, it is still one that Jesus has told us to expect. It will happen.
So Advent draws us into preparations not only for our Christmas celebration, but also preparation for our Lord’s coming for that second time, at the end of ages. Advent is a season of hope. It is not a time to fear things we do not know or worry about things we cannot understand. This should be a period of reflection on God’s plan for His precious children to join Him in heaven for eternity. The prophets of the Old Testament urged people to realize the Almighty’s great designs for us. Even in the bleakest, most desperate times, we are encouraged to trust God the Creator, who loves and looks after us always. “‘Come, let us climb the Lord’s mountain, to the house of the God of Jacob, that He may instruct us in His ways and we may walk in His paths.’ … They shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks; one nation shall not raise the sword against another, nor shall they train for war again. … Come let us walk in the light of the Lord” (Isaiah 2:3-5). The very word Advent is from the Latin for “coming.” And while we do not know when Jesus will come back to us, we need to remember that we are asked to come as well: to come closer to Him, to come into His light, to come among His people, our brothers and sisters. We are called to share our faith, hope and love for Christ with each person -- today and each day He gives us.