The First Sunday of Advent, 2nd December 2018
Gospel: Luke 21:25-28, 34-36
Jesus said to his disciples: ‘There will be signs in the sun and moon and stars; on earth nations in agony, bewildered by the clamour of the ocean and its waves; men dying of fear as they await what menaces the world, for the powers of heaven will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. When these things begin to take place, stand erect, hold your heads high, because your liberation is near at hand.’
‘Watch yourselves, or your hearts will be coarsened with debauchery and drunkenness and the cares of life, and that day will be sprung on you suddenly, like a trap. For it will come down on every living man on the face of the earth. Stay awake, praying at all times for the strength to survive all that is going to happen, and to stand with confidence before the Son of Man.’
The Gospel of the Lord.
Donal Neary SJ
Gospel Reflections for Sundays of Year C
The four weeks of Advent are a slow wait: one candle this week, the empty crib. With Mary and Joseph we wait for Christ. The candles light the way for them – and for us, one each week of Advent.
Christmas should come quickly – the message of the ads. We could be excused for thinking it is nearly over. The Christmas parties are well under way. Some dinners for the elderly have been held already. The carols have been playing for weeks now.
The best waiting, like waiting for birth, is slow. Parents wonder about their child – who will he / she be like? The mother needs support and love; the children look forward to another baby; grandparents wait in pride. Even when the family situation is limited, we wait in joy and hope for the child – like Mary and Joseph, Elizabeth and Zechariah and all the bible parents who waited, often for many years.
How is my faith this year from last year? And what would I be asking for? Would I promise anything to help me wait actively for Jesus – Mass more often than Sunday, the Angelus every day, to read the gospel each day, to be kinder and more just, care for the poor and needy at home or away. Let my Advent bring me closer to God and effect for the best the lives of those close to me. If we wait in faith and in hope, then everything, even the carols sung too early and the celebrations too early, can remind us of the God who is coming soon in Jesus Christ, to be born of Mary.
Mary, may l wait with you in joy and in patience and in hope.