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1st Sunday of Advent

November 28, 2021

FOCUS:    In this graced Advent time, prepare for Jesus’ coming.

 

Advent is a season of preparation. It is easy to lose Advent in the swirl of Christmas lights and decorations. In this time of anticipation as we consider Christ’s incarnation – his coming in the flesh – we also await his return in glory. Be ready: stand erect and raise your heads. Prepare your hearts to receive him. Don’t miss the grace of Advent.

White Sheet

LITURGY OF THE WORD

In the first reading, Jeremiah prophesies the coming of a promised messiah for the house of Israel and Judah. Saint Paul exhorts the Thessalonians to conduct themselves in a way pleasing to God. In the Gospel, Jesus tells the disciples to stay vigilant and be prepared for the day when they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.

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1st Reading

2nd Reading

Gospel

Reflection - By:

Apocalypse isn’t all bad, of course. The word conjures up cataclysm and Armageddon. But we tend to leave out the most important detail: Only the destroyer goes the way of destruction. What the righteous await are “a new heaven and a new Earth, where the justice of God resides.” So the question of our anticipation becomes one of self-examination. Who are we, and what do we represent? Do we support the forces of life or death? Do we participate in ways of creation or destruction? Are we on the side of peace or violence? If we’re doing what we’re supposed to be doing as the People of God, we have nothing to fear. As Jesus says, when the signs of Apocalypse are upon us, we can stand up straight and lift up our heads. Because what others read as signs of the end-times are simply the forecast of our redemption.

 

Advent, to the Christian way of seeing, is not a passive season of waiting. It is an active, responsive, dynamic time of preparing the way of the Lord by participating now in the life of the world to come. You want everlasting life? Then choose it, by protecting life wherever it is threatened: in the womb, in the jail cell, in the hospitals, in countries with unstable governments, and on the poor side of town in our own land. You want God’s mercy on the last day? Then show mercy to others now: to loved ones who have wronged you, to those whom we are taught to regard as enemies, to strangers in need of your assistance both material and political. You want to rest in peace? Then be a peacemaker here: Forswear violent language, don’t rattle your saber at the first semblance of aggression by others, give up the paranoia that regards others with suspicion and takes easy offense.

Eternal life, properly understood, isn’t a reward that is offered to us the day after we die. It’s a chance we’re given, right here and now, to live in the presence of God and to participate in the life of Christ fully

The inner word
What’s in your heart?

  • How have you seen God’s justice at work in the world?

  • Does your life and work “abound in love” for others?

  • What impact does the coming of the Lord have on your daily life? What distracts you from being prepared for his coming? The “anxieties of daily life”? Other things? How can you keep these distractions from getting in the way of encountering God?

  • Raise your head, for your redemption is at hand. What do you see?

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