Sunday, November 27, 2022 – First Sunday of Advent - Cycle A Readings: Isaiah 2:1-5, Psalm 122 “Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord “, Romans 13:11-14, Matthew 24: 37-44
My dear brothers and sisters in Christ, this week we begin the season of Advent. It is a time of waiting for the arrival of Christmas, the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is also a time of preparation for the Second Coming of Christ. Advent is the time when we remember that Jesus came into the world and that he also promised one day to return in all his glory.
Advent is a time of waiting, conversion and of hope. The Word of God tells us that Jesus has not come just once. He comes and keeps coming, but are we ready to recognize him? The readings of this Sunday invite us to be vigilant, to keep our eyes wide open in order to discover and prepare the ways that Jesus has chosen to come and free us from what is not right in our lives. We are called upon in this season to get our personal life in order so that our special guest will be pleased, delighted, and feel welcomed.
The teaching of Jesus in the Gospel Reading assures us that there is hope of new life. Jesus warns us that it is very easy for us to be caught up in speculations or give way to despair. If we abandon ourselves to the cares and pleasures of this world, they will blind us and prevent us from seeing the coming of the Son of Man. We are exhorted to be vigilant and prayerful in such a way that we can make our way safely through the cosmic disorders. It is necessary to be disciplined in our behavior so that we can remain on the right path as we await the coming of the Lord.
We prepare for special visitors in special ways. We desire to delight them, help them to feel comfortable. We ask ourselves and perhaps others about what food they like and what activities would please them. These are visible signs of affection. Advent is precisely the time that the Church offers us to train ourselves to wait on the Lord. The Lord invites us in this season to raise our eyes and open our hearts to welcome him. We all de- sire a new world. We desire that the peace of Christ reigns in our world instead of war, poverty, injustice, cor- ruption and prejudices. The advent season helps us to focus on the journey toward the birth of Jesus who is the peace of the world and the manifestation of the love of God for all humanity. Just as his coming more than two thousand years ago changed human history, our hope is that each time we celebrate his birth, the earth will be renewed. Our participation in these efforts may be spiritual as we accompany the agents of peace with our prayers and love. It can also be through our personal efforts as we promote peace in our personal spheres of life. May the Advent season be for each one of us a true journey to encounter the Lord our Redeemer. May the Lord bless us in the name of the Father, and of the Son and f the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Fr. Paschal Chester, SVD.