First Sunday of Advent
Readings: Isaiah 2:1-5. Psalm 122:1-9.
Romans 13:11-14. Matthew 24:37-44.
We begin a new liturgical year with the First Sunday of Advent, Year A in which the gospel readings will mostly be taken from Matthew. With the First Sunday of Advent, we also begin our immediate preparation for Christ’s coming. There are two reflections in the Church’s preparation for Christ’s coming at Christmas. The first is, of course, when we reflect on the birth of Jesus 2,000 years ago in Bethlehem, but this meditation is left for later in Advent, closer to Christmas day. We begin Advent by meditating, not on Christ’s first coming at his birth, but with Christ’s second coming at the end of time. And what we are we told?
Stay awake! the gospel says. It is the hour now for you to awake from your sleep. St. Paul instructs. We are told to be prepared for Christ’s coming. It is an old saying, Christians are not to know when Christ is returning. Christians are to be ready whenever.
How do we prepare ourselves for the coming of Christ? I think of Simeon, the old man in Luke’s gospel, and Anna, the old woman in the same story, who waited day after day for the coming of the Messiah to the temple. They were promised that they would see the Messiah before their deaths. How long did they stay in the temple? How many days, day after day, did they return with hope that this would be the day? How did they know, after all that time, all those days of waiting, of seeing family after family enter the temple, that this Holy Family was the one? How many children had they seen enter the temple, and how did they recognize this infant, the son of a poor carpenter and a young woman?
I think they had grown accustom to the presence of the Lord. They knew what it felt like to be near God. After years of faithful prayer, they just knew that it was this child, this family, for whom they had been waiting, because God’s presence surrounded them like an old, familiar warmth. When Christ comes, will we recognize him? Will he be that old, familiar presence that we have learned to recognize through faithful daily prayer and attendance at Mass? Or will we miss it, not even recognizing the extraordinary moment of his appearance? It is time for us to shake of the complacency of daily life, and renew ourselves in the presence of God. Let us not be taken unaware.
List of all Reflections:
|10/31/2012||November 4, 2012 - Thirty First Sunday in Ordinary Time|
|10/24/2012||October 28, 2012-Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time|
|10/17/2012||October 21, 2012-Twenty Ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time|
|02/29/2012||Second Sunday of Lent|
|01/18/2012||Third Sunday in Ordinary Time|
|08/17/2010||August 22, 2010|
|08/12/2010||Assumption of Mary|
The Birthday of the Church|
|05/29/2008||Ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time|
|10/16/2006||29th Sunday in Ordinary Time|
|10/13/2006||28th Sunday in Ordinary Time|
|06/28/2006||Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time|
|01/23/2006||January 29th, 2006|
|01/16/2006||January 22nd, 2006|
|01/09/2006||January 15th, 2006|
|12/28/2005||New Years Day|
|11/21/2005||First Sunday of Advent|
|11/14/2005||Solemnity of Christ the King|
|11/09/2005||November 13, 2005|
|09/27/2005||October 2, 2005|
|09/19/2005||September 25, 2005|
|09/13/2005||September 18, 2005|
|09/05/2005||September 11, 2005|
|08/31/2005||September 4, 2005|
|07/11/2005||July 17, 2005|
|07/07/2005||July 10, 2005|
|07/06/2005||July 3, 2005|
|06/21/2005||June 26, 2005|
|06/14/2005||June 19th, 2005|
|05/23/2005||Feast of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ|
|05/16/2005||Holy Trinity Sunday|
|05/05/2005||May 8, 2005|
|04/26/2005||May 1st, 2005|
|04/18/2005||Fifth Sunday of Easter|
|04/11/2005||Fourth Sunday of Easter|
|04/06/2005||THIRD SUNDAY OF EASTER|
|04/06/2005||Divine Mercy Sunday|
|04/05/2005||Holy Thursday Homily|
|03/25/2005||The Passion of John|
|03/07/2005||FIFTH SUNDAY OF LENT|
|02/28/2005||Fourth Sunday of Lent|
|02/23/2005||Third Sunday of Lent|
|02/14/2005||Second Sunday of Lent|
|02/10/2005||First Sunday of Lent|
|01/31/2005||Feb. 6, 2005|
|01/24/2005||January 30th, 2005|
|01/17/2005||January 23, 2005|
|01/10/2005||January 16, 2005|
|01/05/2005||January 9th, 2005|
|01/02/2005||January 2, 2005|
|12/28/2004||Mary, Mother of God - Jan. 1st|
|12/26/2004||Feast of the Holy Family|
|12/13/2004||Fourth Sunday of Advent
Readings: Isaiah 7:10-14. Psalm 24: 1-6.
Romans 1:1-7. Matthew 1:18-24.|
|12/06/2004||Third Sunday of Advent
Readings: Isaiah 35:1-6a, 10. Psalm 146:6-10.
James 5:7-10. Matthew 11:2-11.
|12/01/2004||Second Sunday of Advent
Readings: Isaiah 11:1-10. Psalm 72, 1-2, 7-8, 12-13, 17.
Romans 15:4-9. Matthew 3: 1-12|
|11/29/2004||First Sunday of Advent
Readings: Isaiah 2:1-5. Psalm 122:1-9.
Romans 13:11-14. Matthew 24:37-44.|
|11/22/2004||The Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ the King
2 Samuel 5:1-3, Psalm 122:1-5,
Colossians 1:12-20, Luke 23:35-43|