Saturday, December 02, 2006
1ST SUNDAY OF ADVENT
DECEMBER 3, 2006
1ST SUNDAY OF ADVENT - C
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."
1 THESSALONIANS 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."
Advent begins a new year of the Church. The season retells the
wondrous story of the redemption of humankind. Long ago people
searched for signs from God, and in due time the words to the
prophets were fulfilled - and Christ came to live among us. Today we
are called to be the signs of his presence, his love and ministry in
Today we enter that most wonderful season of hopefulness and
preparation. Yes, it should be a time of soul-searching, and
preparation for the most wonderful Guest to enter our home - in the
words of the prophet Isaiah, "God is with us" - and we hear once
again the ancient prophetic readings of what this Guest is to bring
to humankind. Though the prophets' words may have fit historical
situations of long ago, their poetry still comes filled with new
meaning as once again we prepare ourselves to celebrate the fresh
coming of the One already known and loved.
In an old German tradition, Christians are warned against the "Advent
Teufel" or Advent Devil. This tricky character is out to keep people
so busy, distracted and overextended that they completely lose sight
of the meaning of Christmas.
The Advent Devil misleads us into focusing on material things and
pleasure. He is a wizard with numbers, persuading us that there are
more than 24 hours in a day and more money in our bank accounts than
We all have good Advent intentions. But often, before the first week
is over, the anxieties of the season have wrapped themselves around
our necks like a boa constrictor or anaconda. Our worry about getting
everything done before Christmas overwhelms us. Swept off our feet by
the commercial tide, we are robbed of the time, attention and energy
we intended to give to God. Today, Jesus gives us a wake-up call: "Be
vigilant. Pray that you have the strength to stand before the Son of
Man when he comes in glory."
1. Stand firm against Advent anxieties. A British singing group
several years ago recorded a fun-song called "Walking Backwards for
Christmas." It encouraged folks to walk not towards the glitter and
gleeful attractions of a store-bought Christmas but backwards, away
from the mesmerizing commercialization of the holidays.
2. Stand firm in your Advent mission to give birth to the Son of
God. Advent is a maternal season. Like pregnant women who eagerly
anticipate the birth of a child, we are to take heart at the prospect
of Christ's coming. The 13th century Dominican preacher Meister
Eckhart put it bluntly: "What good is it to me if Mary gave birth to
the Son of God fourteen hundred years ago, and I did not give birth
to the Son of God in my time and in my culture. We are all meant to
be mothers of God."
Eckhart perfectly explains our Advent mission. We are to give birth
to Jesus by nurturing his presence in our own hearts through prayer,
Scripture readings and sharing with others how God is acting in our
lives. If we stand firm in our Advent commitment to these things, we
will, by our Christmas joy, peace, and compassion, give birth to the
Son of God in our time and culture.
3. Stand firm in your Advent hope of Christ's second coming. In
Today's Gospel, Jesus speaks as a prophet, not of doom, but of hope,
consolation, and redemption. However, Jesus intends his apocalyptic
images as a promise of our ultimate salvation. When he comes in glory
at the parousia or end time, he wants us to be prepared to "stand
erect" and raise our heads because "our redemption is at hand." Our
Advent mission is to prepare ourselves for that final day of glory.
How do we do that? By not allowing our hearts to be drugged by
worldly cares and senseless anxieties. By "abounding in love" for one
another - especially those whose valid needs (food, clothing,
shelter, companionship) Jesus expects us to provide for. And by
remaining alert for the final "day of the Lord."
So, decide today, on this First Sunday of Advent, to throw out the
Advent Devil. Tell him to get lost. Say "No thanks" to the commercial
hullabaloo and turn away from the seasonal distractions that would
rob you of your ability to stand firm in the presence of the Lord.
We pray ...
- for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the
- for the personal intentions and success of Sheena Karla Caranto.
- for the healing and recovery of Myra.
- for the eternal repose of the soul of Marcelina Tan. Eternal rest
grant unto her and may perpetual light shine upon her. May she and
all the souls of the dearly departed rest in peace.
- for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary.
- Birthday: Lydia Orosa
- Birthday: Cathy Diokno
- for world peace and reconciliation.
Finally, we pray for one another, for those who have asked our
prayers and for those who need our prayers the most.
Have a good day!
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