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 | Matthew 13:33-37

Jesus said to his disciples: “Be watchful! Be alert!  You do not know when the time will come.  It is like a man traveling abroad.  He leaves home and places his servants in charge, each with his own work, and orders the gatekeeper to be on the watch.  Watch, therefore; you do not know when the Lord of the house is coming, whether in the evening, or at midnight, or at cockcrow, or in the morning.  May he not come suddenly and find you sleeping.  What I say to you, I say to all: ‘Watch!’”

A Short Reflection for the First Sunday of Advent | Saint John Baptist de La Salle

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 exists beyond time and place and is always present.  What makes the Nativity adventus for us is that, in that moment, God was breaking into our human story in a new and radical way.  By approaching us as one of us, he invited us to approach him, not as who we think we should be, but as ourselves.  By dispelling the illusions of our distances and facades, he showed us the truth of our saving oneness with him and with one another.  On Christmas, God came to us not only as a revelation but also as a reminder.  Through the tiny cry of an infant, he would announce his omnipotent “I Am,” reassuring us not only of his eternal existence but also of his immediate presence.  The time of Advent is a time to rediscover that the wholeness and holiness of the redemption that we so anxiously await is, in fact, with us here and now.

Prayer

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.

Saint John Baptist de La Salle, pray for us.
Live Jesus in our hearts forever.