December 1, 2019
This First Sunday of Advent begins a new Church Year for us.
We have left cycle C and now we begin cycle A.
When we think about Advent we usually think just about preparing for Christmas.
I would suggest that we also think about Advent as a time for preparing and watching for the coming of the Lord every single day and in every situation both delightful and also difficult.
The readings of each Sunday of this season of Advent can help us to become more alert to watching and waiting for the Lord every day in our lives.
In the second reading Paul wrote his letter in about 58 A.D..
He writes it to this Christian community in Rome because he has concern for them. He encourages them to wake up and to once again understand what it means that God has called them to make Him present in the world.
That probably means that during this season we are to take a good look at ourselves spiritually.
In the Gospel reading Jesus tells his disciples to wake up and watch, for He will come at a time that is not expected.
Advent can become that time that we wait and watch for Christ, not just at the end of time, not just coming in our celebrations of Christmas Day, but watching for Him in every single situation and in every person we encounter daily. It may be in that moment when we are faced with our own failure, our own lack of charity, patience, or compassion. That moment when we have not done what God called us to do since His call to us at our Baptism. To see our failures can be very difficult but is a real gift from the presence of the merciful Lord.
In the first reading Isiah the prophet gives us the story of Noah, to show how most of the people in that time had no idea of what was going on because of their sinfulness. They had not recognized God in their daily lives, but had turned to other things to worship in their lives . They had turned to idols or pagan gods.
We are to wait and watch for the Lord, not only in situations that are happy and joyful, but also in those situations that are difficult and trying.
This reading took place when the northern kingdom of Israel had been overcome by the Assyrians, and now Isaiah foretells the coming doom for Judah, the southern kingdom; they would be taken into Exile in Babylon. He was not just a prophet of doom, but was to give the people hope for what was to come; that God would not desert the human race, but that God would fulfill his promise of the Messiah in the years ahead. He gave the people hope for the future.
The mercy of God can give each of us hope for the future of eternal life.
We need to continually look for His presence in the people that we enjoy being with and also in the people that give us difficulties. Advent is that time when we can really concentrate on waiting and watching for the Lord;
During this season of Advent we may discover, in ourselves, that we often miss His coming.
But even in those times, He will not abandon us.
How many times, each day, do we miss His coming?
Watch for Him