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.”
Responsorial Psalm Ps 25:4-5, 8-9, 10, 14
R. (1b) 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.
Reading 2 1 Thes 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.
Gospel Lk 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.”
Sermon and Homily NotesDear Friends in Jesus Christ, The Holy Mother Church, today, celebrates the First Sunday of Advent. The first Sunday of Advent is inviting us to prepare to welcome the One who has already come. Today’s theme is highlighting the coming of the Christ, how to prepare ourselves and waiting for the Lord vigilantly. Waiting is part of our life. Many a times we might have heard the phrases, “I can’t wait”, “how long can I wait for you?” We must practice patient to wait for others or for something. Every adult and child should practice and learn to develop the beautiful character of patient in their life. People are waiting in the corner of the street to meet their friends and loved ones. The more we wait the more we become anxious to experience it in reality. A mother will be waiting to welcome a new baby. A student will be waiting to have a good result of the exam. The patents will be waiting to see good future of their children. In the same way, we as Christians and followers of Christ have been waiting to welcome Our Lord Jesus Christ. Advent commemorates a joyful moment of waiting, a waiting that contains God’s promise, His love, His fulfillment, new life and new beginning.
This is not only the generation that is waiting for the second coming of our Lord Jesus. If we see the first reading from the book of Jeremiah, we could easily find that even in the seventh century B.C , the people of Israel was waiting for the Messiah. In every century, everyone was waiting for something or someone, which shows that waiting, is part of the life. The first Sunday of advent is also inviting us to prepare for the second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. This will happen at the end of time, the time of the history of the world and human being. We also experience end of our world often enough to understand our final end of anything. When a parent, spouse, child dies, marriage breaks down, or when a job has gone, we all say that our world has come trembling down. When Jesus is saying about the end of time, he has his own idea in explaining to his disciples. The end of time is unpredictable. The Second coming of Jesus is an universal event. “Son of Man” is coming in glory and all will see in their eyes. He saying the Son of Man would come in a clouds, links his transfiguration and the his ascension, both of which involved clouds. The instructions of Jesus to his disciples to welcome him includes alert, beware, be vigilant, and prayer. During the time of St. Paul, all thought that the end of time was during their life time. St. Paul was teaching them to prepare for the second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
A modern lesson in preparing for Jesus’ coming is described in this story. A junior executive who approached his grouchy boss to tell him how deeply he admired his creative genius. The boss was very surprised, and also deeply impressed. That night the boss came home to his 14 years old son and sat him down. He said, “The most incredible thing happened to me today,” and told him the story.
The he continued, “As I was coming home tonight, I thought about you. When I come home I don’t pay attention to you. Sometimes I scream at you for not getting good enough grades in school and for your bedroom being a mess. But somehow tonight I just wanted to sit here and, well, just let you know that besides your mother, you are the most important person in my life. You are a great kid and I love you.”
The startled boy started to sob and sob and he couldn’t stop crying. His whole body shook. At last he looked up at his father and said through his tears, “I was planning on running away tomorrow, dad, because I didn’t think you loved me. Now I don’t need to.”
If you are ever going to love me,
Love me now, while I can know
The sweet and tender feelings
Which from true affection flow
Love me now
While I am living.
Do not wait until I am gone,
And then have it chiseled in marble,
Sweet words on ice-cold stone.
If you have tender thoughts for me,
Please tell me now.
If you wait until I am sleeping,
Never to awaken,
There will be death between us,
And I won’t hear you then.
So, if you love me even a little bit,
Let me know it while I am living
So I can treasure it.Now this is the time to prepare ourselves: to watch and wait for Jesus. There will surely be anxiety in us, but there will be also eagerness of when we will meet our Lord. We meet Jesus not only historically at Christmas, or at in our death point, but also every days in our lives. Every day we meet Jesus in others, in our family, in our environment, in our working place, in our events, even in our thoughts. As Cardinal Newman said: “ to be awake, alive, quick, sighted, zealous, in honoring him; to look out for him in all that happens; to be detached from what is present, and to live in what is unseen, to live in the thought of Christ as he came once, and as he will come again, to desire his second coming from our affectionate and grateful of his first.” Let us also prepare ourselves to experience Jesus in everything of our life.