1ST SUNDAY OF ADVENT, YEAR A
Readings: Isaiah 2:1-5; Psalm 122; Romans 13:11-14; Matthew 24:37-44
Theme: While we are waiting…
Today is the 1st Sunday of Advent, New Year day for the church, as it marks the beginning of a new liturgical calendar. Advent is the season during which we not only prepare to celebrate the commemoration of the first coming of Jesus to the world, we also actually prepare ourselves for His second coming at the end of time. Actually, we can talk about three comings of Christ: 1st in the incarnation (when he came into the world as a man), 2nd in the parousia (when he shall come again as judge of the world) and 3rd in the everyday lives of believers, especially as He comes to us in the Sacraments of the Church. Advent therefore, recalls the 1st coming of Jesus Christ, reminds us of his 2nd coming and urges us to use our today to prepare for His future coming.
Today’s readings speak to us about the 2nd and 3rd comings of Jesus. While the prophet Isaiah (1st Reading) and Jesus (Gospel) speak to us in future tenses, St. Paul (2nd Reading) talks to us about our NOW. From these three readings, we shall pay attention to using the NOW to prepare for the future. Jesus tells us that his 2nd coming in glory shall be sudden and shall take many people unawares. The reason why he tells us this is so that we can be prepared and not be caught off guard. As the saying goes, “To be forewarned is to be forearmed.” So today’s readings tell us what to be doing in the now, while we are waiting for the second coming of Jesus.
- While we are waiting for this 2nd coming of Jesus, Isaiah tells us that we must be people of peace, for his coming shall bring an era of peaceful reign and put an end to wars and conflicts.
- While we are waiting, we must destroy the weapons of warfare (destruction) and take up the weapons of work (building peaceful coexistence). We must remove strife, quareling, fighting and violence from amongst us and enthrone friendship, peace and love.
- While we are waiting, we must cast off the works of darkness as St. Paul says, and put on the works of light. We must destroy the habits of lying, gossiping, cheating, stealing, laziness, pornography, and so on, which are all works of darkness.
- St. Paul says while we are waiting, we must do away with quarrelling, jealousy, drunkenness, sexual immorality, and all works of the flesh.
- Jesus too tells us today, that while we are waiting, we must always stay ready because his coming will be unannounced.
- While we are waiting, Jesus also says that each of us must be personally prepared, because the holiness of one person cannot be shared with another. That is why two people will be together, one will be taken and the other left.
- While we are waiting for the 2nd coming of Jesus, today’s readings encourage us to prepare for that day by living good lives here and now, for it is how we live our lives now that shall determine how we spend eternity.
Many of us have already started making preparations for Christmas, come December 25th, but how are we preparing our souls for when Jesus shall come for us? May we do our best so that when Jesus finally comes again, we may be among those who are taken, and not among those who are left. Amen