“You know the time;
It is the hour now for you to awake from sleep.
For our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed.”
From Romans 13:11-14
I’m always struck by how quickly the short Season of Advent flies by. December is filled with multiple secular and religious gatherings and liturgies, and everyone seems so busy this time of the year. In the midst of this, we are called to focus on this beautiful but fleeting four week season in our liturgical year. We officially began a new year, “Year A”, for our three year cycle of Sunday readings, moving from the Gospel
of Luke in “Year C” to Matthew. The Gospel for this first Sunday of Advent, Matthew 24:37-44 focuses on our need to be prepared for Christ’s coming. The next two Sundays introduce John the Baptist, while the final Sunday focuses on Mary’s call to motherhood.
The first reading from Isaiah 2:1-5 reminds us that the ways of the Lord are those of peace; “they shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks; one nation shall not raise the sword against another, nor shall they train for war again.” During Advent we pray that we may be instruments
of peace in a world overcome by division. In the second reading, St. Paul reminds us to awake from our sleep by focusing not on the desires of the flesh or works of darkness but on putting on the Lord Jesus Christ and living in the light of Christ. This Sunday’s Gospel reminds us that just as those during the time of Noah did not expect the flood and were unprepared, so will most be at the second coming of Christ: we may be going about our daily tasks of work and ministry when all will come to a halt and judgment will be at our doorstep! What will be your plan to make Advent a more prayerful and reflective time amidst the hustle and bustle of this time of the year? May we slow down, enjoy the cyclamens, treasure time with family and spend more time in prayer as we begin our vigil of watching and waiting.