Reflection for the First Sunday of Advent…
1st Sunday of Advent
Readings (Year B)
Isaiah 63:16-17; 64:1,3-8 Psalm 79
A Thought for the day …
A WAKE-UP CALL!
Advent is a word meaning “coming”. Today is the beginning of the new Church year… a conscious setting apart of time by the Church to prepare for the coming of Jesus at Christmas to celebrate his birth. The quality of our vigilance and preparations will determine the quality of our meeting with Jesus our Lord.
For Mary and Joseph the first Christmas, there was no room for them at the Inn. Will we have a place free for Jesus when he comes to us?
Obviously there will be exterior and interior preparations.
Exterior – The Advent wreath, decorations in the church, the change in the colour of vestments at Mass. If we can, we may give gifts or get new clothes.
Interior preparations for us Christians are far more important. We may try and give a bit more time to prayer. And if we try to give gifts, what Christmas gift will we give to Jesus? If we were to give a Christmas gift to Jesus what would he appreciate? Some lifestyle change? Maybe the best gift we can give is the gift of AWARENESS. To pay more attention to hear what God wants of us now in our lives.
The gospel tells us. “Be constantly on the watch! Stay awake! You do not know when the appointed time will come”.
There are in fact three comings of Jesus into our lives. The initial one was at the First Christmas in Bethlehem and the third is at the end of time when Christ comes again. The second is right now. It really doesn’t matter when his third coming takes place as long as we try to live as disciples of Jesus each day. So Advent is WAKE- UP time.
In the gospel the man who travelled abroad left each person with his own task to do until he returned… the gatekeeper was told to keep watch. God gives each of us special tasks also to do until he returns. If I am a father, mother, a husband or wife, layperson, priest or religious I too have my work to do to bring about God’s kingdom here on earth. How are we doing these? Are we content or falling short? Advent is WAKE- UP time.
– Fr Jim Kirstein SMA
Blackrock Road, Cork