1st Sunday of Advent

Scripture Reading: Mark 13:33-37

Welcome to the first Sunday of Advent, which is also the first Sunday of a new liturgical year for the Church. The Advent season embraces the four Sundays that precede Christmas. It is a time of preparation for the coming of the Lord. In this season, we recall two central elements of our faith: it prepares us for the celebration of the birth of Christ and second, it reminds us that we are eagerly waiting for Jesus’ return in glory. Key themes of the Advent season are watchful waiting, preparation, and justice. Today’s gospel calls us to prepare for the second coming; hence our reflection focuses on the theme, preparation.

Preparation is often time, the secret of success, not only in earthly activities, but more importantly in our spiritual lives. ‘If you are going away on a trip, you prepare yourself in many ways. You prepare your luggage, make travel arrangements, prepare your camera, obtain foreign currency, get a passport and obtain visas for the places you will visit, in other words you spare no effort in order to secure a safe and happy holiday.’ We are talking here about your trip from this life into eternity.

Remember that the time will come when you will be called to enter into the spiritual realm for eternity and depending on how you lived your life you will either be saved or condemned. It is a very serious situation that needs urgent attention; do not procrastinate. Start doing something about it before it is too late. Many different examples and parables are used by Jesus to drive the point home for us that the time we have is not unlimited; that it will run out when we least expect. This means that to be found unprepared for that end, is tragic. One that particularly fits our age is in Matt. 24:37-39 “For as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. In [those] days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day that Noah entered the ark. They did not know until the flood came and carried them all away. So will it be [also] at the coming of the Son of Man.” This time of preparation is a gift and a grace from God.

MASS: VIOLET Is 63:16d-17; 64:1.3b-8; Ps 80:2-3.15-16.18-19(R.4); 1 Cor 1:3-9; Mk 13:33-37 FIRST SUNDAY OF ADVENT

Prayer Points:

1. Father, we Praise and Glorify You. Bless us with faith and perseverance in this life filled with turmoil and obstacles. In the midst of turmoil or conflict, we will not be shaken, for our heart remains steadfast, trusting in You. Help us to learn the valuable lessons along the way, as we press on towards the goal for which You have called us, through our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

Exercise: Pray for the DSD Team as they plan for the 2018, 21-day fasting programme starting on the 2nd of January.

Meditation: Matthew 24:44