First Sunday of Advent

1st Sunday of Advent

"Be vigilant at all times and pray."

02

DECEMBER 2018

JEREMIAH 33:14-16

The days are coming, says the LORD, when I will fulfill the promise I made to the house of Israel and Judah.
In those days, in that time, I will raise up for David a just shoot ; he shall do what is right and just in the land.
In those days Judah shall be safe and Jerusalem shall dwell secure; this is what they shall call her:
“The LORD our justice.”

PSALMS 25:4-5, 8-9, 10, 14

R. To you, O Lord, I lift my soul.
Your ways, O LORD, make known to me;
teach me your paths,
Guide me in your truth and teach me,
for you are God my savior,
and for you I wait all the day.
R. To you, O Lord, I lift my soul.
Good and upright is the LORD;
thus he shows sinners the way.
He guides the humble to justice,
and teaches the humble his way.
R. To you, O Lord, I lift my soul.
All the paths of the LORD are kindness and constancy
toward those who keep his covenant and his decrees.
The friendship of the LORD is with those who fear him,
and his covenant, for their instruction.
R. To you, O Lord, I lift my soul.

1 THESALONIANS 3:12—4:2

Brothers and sisters:
May the Lord make you increase and abound in love
for one another and for all,
just as we have for you,
so as to strengthen your hearts,
to be blameless in holiness before our God and Father
at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his holy ones. Amen.

Finally, brothers and sisters,
we earnestly ask and exhort you in the Lord Jesus that,
as you received from us
how you should conduct yourselves to please God
and as you are conducting yourselves
you do so even more.
For you know what instructions we gave you through the Lord Jesus.

LUKE 21:25-28, 34-36

Jesus said to his disciples:
“There will be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars,  and on earth nations will be in dismay,  perplexed by the roaring of the sea and the waves.
People will die of fright in anticipation of what is coming upon the world, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken.
And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.
But when these signs begin to happen, stand erect and raise your heads because your redemption is at hand.

“Beware that your hearts do not become drowsy from carousing and drunkenness and the anxieties of daily life, and that day catch you by surprise like a trap. For that day will assault everyone who lives on the face of the earth.
Be vigilant at all times and pray that you have the strength to escape the tribulations that are imminent and to stand before the Son of Man.”

Reflection:

“Be vigilant at all times and pray.” 

Advent begins with a call to vigilance as reflected in the passages above.  There are numerous Scripture passages that call us to this vigilance and anticipation of the Lord’s coming; these are only a few. Being vigilant means, also, that we are prepared. We are not caught off guard. Imagine if Christmas morning came and you woke up suddenly realizing that you forgot to prepare! Imagine if you had no gifts, no food purchased and no plans were made. Of course you wouldn’t allow that to happen, but we do sometimes allow it to happen spiritually speaking. We often are not prepared to celebrate the birth of Christ within our hearts.

The first week of Advent also offers the focus of the Second Coming of Christ.  Jesus will return again, in all splendor and glory, to judge the living and the dead.  We profess that fact every Sunday in our Creed. So, even though Advent is a time for the preparation of the celebration of the first coming of Jesus in the flesh, it is also a time to acknowledge that His first coming is ultimately fulfilled in His final glorious coming.

As Advent begins, reflect upon how ready you are for Jesus’ coming. Are you preparing for it with the same fervor that you prepare for Christmas through shopping, cooking, decorating, etc?  Are you looking forward to that day when He will return?  Are you preparing for the spiritual celebration of His birth?  Are you awake and attentive to the numerous ways that God speaks to you on a daily basis?

If you find that you are not as prepared for His return in glory as you’d like to be, make this Advent a time when you get your heart ready.  Commit to prayer, spiritual exercises, reflection and attentiveness to His gentle and glorious voice.

Lord, as Advent begins, help me to put my eyes on You.  Help me to open my ears to Your voice.  And help me to open my heart to Your glorious presence.  May I be attentive to You in every way You desire to come to me. Jesus, I trust in You.

Leave a Reply

Close Menu