Reflections

FIRST SUNDAY OF ADVENT, DECEMBER 1, 2019

Stay Awake For The Lord Comes
1. The Lord Comes
2. Christ Brings Us Hope
Introduction
1. The Lord Comes
The Lord comes! He is looking for us. Do we open to him the door of our hearts? Do we recognize him when he asks us whether he may enter? Do we know him when we meet him in the street, in our neighbour? Let us ask the Lord in this Eucharist that we may love and admit him in the many ways he comes to us.

2. Christ Brings Us Hope
A person of faith is a person of hope. As Christians we cannot live without dreams, without ideals that inspire us and even make us impatient at times. The message of this First Sunday of Advent tells us about God’s dream regarding our world. It is meant to become a world of peace and justice. This will happen when the light of Christ will shine in it. God will write this future only with the help of people. Are we awake and ready to make Christ’s light and peace come into this world and change today’s world into God’s world of tomorrow?

First Reading: A Future of Peace and Light
At a time of war and trials, the prophet gives to God’s people a vision of hope in God’s final peace and justice. We have to prepare this future.

1 Reading: Isaiah 2:1-5
This is what Isaiah, son of Amoz, saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem.
In days to come, the mountain of the LORD’s house shall be established as the highest mountain and raised above the hills. All nations shall stream toward it; many peoples shall come and say: “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.” For from Zion shall go forth instruction, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. He shall judge between the nations, and impose terms on many peoples. 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. O house of Jacob, come, let us walk in the light of the Lord!

Responsorial Psalm: Ps 122: 1-2, 3-4, 4-5, 6-7, 8-9
R. Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.

I rejoiced because they said to me,
“We will go up to the house of the LORD.”
And now we have set foot
within your gates, O Jerusalem. R.

Jerusalem, built as a city
with compact unity.
To it the tribes go up,
the tribes of the LORD. R.

According to the decree for Israel,
to give thanks to the name of the LORD.
In it are set up judgment seats,
seats for the house of David. R.

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem!
May those who love you prosper!
May peace be within your walls,
prosperity in your buildings. R.

Because of my brothers and friends
I will say, “Peace be within you!”
Because of the house of the LORD, our God,
I will pray for your good. R.

Second Reading: Wake Up Now!
Paul impresses on us the urgency of waking up and living the life of Christ. The time is now! We are pilgrims to the light of Christ.

2 Reading: Rom 13:11-14
Brothers and sisters: You know the time; it is the hour now for you to awake from sleep. For our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed; the night is advanced, the day is at hand. Let us then throw off the works of darkness and put on the armour of light; let us conduct ourselves properly as in the day, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in promiscuity and lust, not in rivalry and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the desires of the flesh.

Alleluia: Cf. Psalm 85:8
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Show us Lord, your love;
and grant us your salvation.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel: Stay Awake!
The Christian life is an active waiting for Christ’s continuing coming. The disciples of Christ must always be ready for recognizing the Lord’s coming by being faithful to the mission in life given them by Christ.

Gospel: Matthew 24:37-44
Jesus said to his disciples:
“As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. In those days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day that Noah entered the ark. They did not know until the flood came and carried them all away. So will it be also at the coming of the Son of Man. Two men will be out in the field; one will be taken, and one will be left. Two women will be grinding at the mill; one will be taken, and one will be left. Therefore, stay awake! For you do not know on which day your Lord will come. Be sure of this: if the master of the house had known the hour of night when the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and not let his house be broken into. So too, you also must be prepared, for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come.”

Commentary
Waiting even for good things, might not be very pleasant. We always feel certain impatience, particularly if we have been given an approximate time in which things might occur.
Waiting also has advantages; it makes us reflect deeply; it intensifies the desire for something to happen; it often makes us re-examine relationships, reasons, and motivations for our wait; and it forces us to prepare.
In these preparations—particularly when we wait for the coming of a person we love or the birth of a new family member—the real love that we have for the person expected becomes very clear. As we prepare, love is likely to grow. Love grows with waiting and preparing.
When we are asked for vigilance to wait for the coming of Christ, is not so that we can grow frustrated, but so that we have an opportunity to prepare by reflecting on the person we wait for, while we do good works that invite us to more and more love and we deepen into the desire for salvation and justice that Christ will bring. It is almost unthinkable that someone would be waiting for a loved one by being unfaithful.
The same thing happens with the promise of the coming of Christ. Until he comes, let us be watchful, that is, attentive to what in our hearts we consider is God’s desire for us; this way, we will be able to offer him the fruit of our love. To say that Christ is King is to recognize the living Christ as the one who gives us life from the cross, the Christ we love, listen to, and obey; and he is the only one who can bring obedience to the people who follow him in order to build a kingdom of peace and reconciliation.

Blessing
We have met the Lord here in the Eucharist.
Let us do our very best
to bring him also in today’s world
by sharing his love and justice,
his hope and joy with the people around us.
The best way to do so will be
by living his life as best as we can.
Let our life then be the open book
in which people can read that the Lord has come.
May Almighty God bless you,
the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. R/ Amen.

Go in the peace and joy of Christ. R/ Thanks be to God.

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