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First Sunday of Advent

November 28, 2019

First Sunday of Advent

December 1

Isaiah 2:1-5

Psalm 122

Romans 13:11-14

Matthew 24:37-44

HAPPY NEW YEAR!  No, its not January 1st and you didn’t miss the party last night.  Today we begin the new liturgical year of the Church as we begin the beautiful season of Advent.  It’s the season that invites us to assess our relationship with God and especially with our Lord Jesus as we prepare for Christmas.  So, what is Advent all about?  We know it as a liturgical period with the focus on the birth of Jesus.  But there is more.

I believe that Advent has a kind of quiet dignity and a call to patiently await God’s coming into our lives.  Like Lent, Advent is a prepatory season.  It has significance because it is a season of looking forward and waiting for something great, something momentous, and something that will change the world forever.  And it does!  It is our annual celebration of the blessed event of Christ’s birth, and for the time when Christ will come again.

So we begin our new liturgical year with the Gospel of Matthew.  Today Jesus tells us, “Therefore, stay awake!  For you do not know on which day your Lord will come.”  I believe if we all knew how close the day the Lord was we would be living a holy and a near perfect life.  We would be in fear of the punishment that awaits those who were unfaithful to the Word of God.  We should frequently “examine our conscience” and consider if we live in the darkness of sin or in the light of Jesus’ Holy Word.  Only then can we assess if we are ready for the moment our Lord’s return.

So then, what does all this mean to us?  Jesus’ teaching about the “Last Things” can be reduced to three certainties; that He will certainly return, that we cannot possibly find out when, and that we must always be ready for Him.” 

In one month many of us will be making New Year’s resolutions such as loosing weight, joining a gym, taking a vacation, and so on.  I suggest that you make a liturgical New Year’s resolution such as attending Mass with your family members, especially those who have been away from the sacraments.  Also, to pray more (especially the rosary,) read sacred scripture, attend Adoration, volunteer at your parish or in your community, and so forth.  These are a sample of resolutions that we can easily stick with throughout the entire year and through our entire lives and still be able to go to the gym and get fit.

On this First Sunday of Advent Jesus reminds us to “Stay Awake.” Today, perhaps, the Lord will come knocking.  He might be calling us to our “eternal home,” or He might simply be looking to see how well we are bringing His Presence into the world.  We cannot allow ourselves to be unconcerned.  We need to be ready at all times to serve Christ, the Lord.  Happy Advent!

Question of the Day:  Can you remain “awake” for the coming of our Lord and be an example for other to do the same?

Prayer:  “O Lord, take me by the hand and lead me to my blessed goal; possess You for all eternity.”  (Taken from: “Minute Meditations for Each Day” By Rev. Bede Naegele, O.C.D., Catholic Book Publishing Corp.)

Prosit

 

Deacon Anthony J. Cincotta

Assistant Director for Retreat Ministry

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