First Sunday of Advent
Intention: That the start of this Advent will herald for us a time of prayer and conversion as we return our hearts and our lives to the work of building God’s Kingdom of peace, justice, and love.
Today’s Gospel | Luke 21:25-28, 34-36
Jesus said to his disciples: “There will be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars, and on earth nations will be in dismay, perplexed by the roaring of the sea and the waves. People will die of fright in anticipation of what is coming upon the world, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. But when these signs begin to happen, stand erect and raise your heads because your redemption is at hand.
“Beware that your hearts do not become drowsy from carousing and drunkenness and the anxieties of daily life, and that day catch you by surprise like a trap. For that day will assault everyone who lives on the face of the earth. Be vigilant at all times and pray that you have the strength to escape the tribulations that are imminent and to stand before the Son of Man.”
A Short Reflection for the First Sunday of Advent
On this, the first day of Advent, Christians everywhere are being called to place themselves into a special time of watchfulness and waiting. The English word advent comes from the Latin word adventus, which means “a coming”. It is an interesting word to use in relation to the One who is eternal, who is beyond time and place and is always present. What made the Nativity truly adventus was that God was breaking into our human story in a new and radical way. By approaching us as one of us, perhaps we then would learn how to approach him. By dispelling the illusion of distance, perhaps we then would stop creating distance to use as an excuse for our sinfulness. By speaking through the tiny cry of an infant, perhaps we would finally hear His omnipotent “I Am.” On Christmas, God came to us as a revelation, but also as a reminder. The time of Advent is a time to rediscover in our anticipation of redemption the wholeness and holiness of God’s saving presence with us here and now.
Eternal Father, we may not always see or hear you in our hurried and distracted lives, but you are there. Help us to pay attention and to be awake to your presence. May we live each day prepared to welcome you into our hearts and into all that we do. As Advent begins, may we ready ourselves for your Son’s coming as he cuts through the darkness and brings to us the light of life. We ask this of you who lives and reigns with your Son and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.