Father Nathan Homily | December 1, 2019
Father Nathan | Homily
1st Sunday Of Advent
“Oh Come Emmanuel” is the ring tone of this time of the year.
Today, as we begin our new liturgical year and the yearly pilgrimage through the events of our history of salvation starting with the preparation for the birthday celebration of Jesus, the liturgy invites us to come to the house of God, so that God may teach us his ways and help us to walk in his light.
We are entering in to the new season of Advent. During advent we prepare our hearts and mind for the great mystery of the birth of Jesus Christ.
We see the traditional signs of Advent in our Church: violet vestments and hangings, dried flowers or plain green plants and, of course, the Advent wreath.
These signs remind us that we must prepare for the (re)birth of Jesus in our hearts and lives, enabling him to radiate his love, mercy, compassion and forgiveness through us and around us.
Scripture lessons summarized:
The first reading (Is 2:1-5) The vision of a world of peace under God — challenges the Christians, as those on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, to affirm our faith in the one true God to work for this new peace-filled world which was inaugurated by Christ.
Today’s Responsorial Psalm (Ps 122), is a joyous hymn, originally sung as pilgrims journeyed to the Temple in Jerusalem. Today it prepares us for our yearly pilgrimage.
In the second reading (Rom 13:11-14) This contains a wakeup call, and urges us to turn away from the darkness of evil – like drunkenness, promiscuity, and lust, not in rivalry or jealousy – rather put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and to walk in the light of Christ. In this way we can prepare for the coming of Christ’s birth.
Advent issues a spiritual wake up call for each one of us and has an awakening power.
Unless we are spiritually awake we are only half living. In this respect some people are little better than sleepwalkers. They have eyes but do not see, and ears but do not hear. Their minds are narrow and closed. Their hearts have become hardened.
To be awake spiritually means to be open and receptive, vigilant and active. Spirituality is all about waking up. It’s all about understanding the things, seeing the things, hearing the things. It’s necessary to reflect, to have the will and to be wide awake.
To be spiritually awake means to be attentive to God and to others. It means to be living in love.
We have two options: we can be watcher or a sleeper. It is easy to be a sleeper. But the sleeper wastes their lives. It’s very much harder but extremely rewarding to be a watcher. To watch means to be wake, to be alert, to be concerned, to be active, to be interested, and to care. In a word, to be a watcher is to be responsible.
Jesus urges to stay awake, to be on our guard, to be on the watch. We have nothing to fear and everything to gain from answering advent’s wake up call.
Today’s Gospel (Mt 24:37-44)
The gospel reading is taken from the apocalyptic discourse in Matthew chapter 24 , in which Jesus instructs his disciples privately about the coming end of this age.
Calamities and false messiahs will signal the beginning of the labor pains (Mathew 24:8) Jesus reminds us of how the unrepentant and ill-prepared evil people were destroyed by the flood in the time of Noah and of how a thief would break in and plunder the precious belongings of an ill-prepared house owner.
Later using additional examples, Jesus repeats his warning for us to be vigilant and well-prepared all the time, doing the will of God by loving others.
The discrimination between who will be taken and who will remain is based on their readiness for the kingdom of God.
The admonition to wait patiently was aimed at the first-century Christians for whom the sense of the immediacy of the second coming of Christ had faded.
Every year we have the greatest opportunity to prepare for the great coming of Christ, the ONLY SON OF GOD.
Hence, we need to be alert and watchful, while spiritually preparing for Christmas by offering our daily work to God for His glory, by practicing more self-control in resisting our evil habits and inclinations, by seeking reconciliation daily with God and our fellow humans, and by asking God’s pardon and forgiveness as we extend our unconditional forgiveness to those who have hurt us.
Let us begin each day by praying for the strength and power of the Holy Spirit to prepare ourselves for Jesus’ rebirth in our hearts and lives.
Have a Blessed Week,
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