Saturday, November 29, 2014
First Sunday of Advent
November 30, 2014
First Sunday of Advent
Is 63: 16b-17, 19b; 64: 2-7 / Ps 80: 2-3, 15-16, 18-19 (4) / 1 Cor 1: 3-9 / Mk 13: 33- 37
First Reading: Isaiah 63:16b-17, 19b; 64:2-7
You, O Yahweh, are our Father, from the beginning, you are our redeemer: this is your name. Why have you made us stray from your ways? Why have you let our heart become hard so that we do not fear you? Return for the sake of your servants, the tribes of your inheritance. As when fire sets brushwood ablaze and causes water to boil, make the nations know your name, and your enemies tremble. Let them witness your stunning deeds. No one has ever heard or perceived, no eye has ever seen a God besides you who works for those who trust in him. You have confounded those who acted righteously and who joyfully kept your ways in mind. You are angry with our sins, yet conceal them and we shall be saved.
All of us have become like the unclean; all our good deeds are like polluted garments; we have all withered like leaves, blown away by our iniquities. There is no one who calls upon your name, no one who rouses himself to lay hold of you. For you have hidden your face, you have given us up to the power of our evil acts. And yet, Yahweh, you are our Father; we are the clay and you are the potter; we are the work of your hand.
Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 1:3-9
Brothers and sisters: Receive grace and peace from God our Father, and Christ Jesus our Lord. I give thanks constantly to my God for you and for the grace of God given to you in Christ Jesus. For your have been fully enriched in him with words as well as with knowledge, even as the testimony concerning Christ was confirmed in you. You do not lack any spiritual gift and only await the glorious coming of Christ Jesus, our Lord. He will keep you steadfast to the end, and you will be without reproach on the day of the coming of our Lord Jesus. The faithful God will not fail you after calling you to this fellowship with his Son, Christ Jesus, our Lord.
Gospel: Mark 13:33-37
Jesus said: Be alert and watch, for you don't know when the time will come. When a man goes abroad and leaves his home, he puts his servants in charge, giving to each one some responsibility; and he orders the doorkeeper to stay awake. So stay awake for you don't know when the Lord of the house will come, in the evening or at midnight, when the cock crows or before dawn. If he comes suddenly, do not let him catch you asleep. And what I say to you, I say to all: watch.
Today is the first Sunday of Advent, the beginning of another liturgical year. Advent has a two-fold character: as a season to prepare for Christmas when Christ's First Coming is remembered; and as a season when that remembrance directs the mind and heart to await Christ's Second Coming at the end of time. Advent is thus a period for devout and joyful expectation. The early part of Advent focuses on the Second Coming of Christ at the end of time and urges us all to be always ready, since we do not know when Christ will come again. The early Church seems to have thought that the Second Coming of Christ was close at hand.
The gospel reading reminds us to be always on the watch for the return of the master. The doorkeeper should be ready for his master at any time, the servants ready to serve and to feed their master at his return. Woe to the servant who sleeps on his watch; woe to the servant who is found unprepared at the return of the master.
At his Second Coming, Christ will come as master, Lord and judge. He will demand an accounting on how we made use of the talents given to us, how we fulfilled the responsibilities assigned to us, how we have treated out fellow servants, how we have loved "the little ones." At his Second Coming as Lord and master, "the Son of Man will come in the clouds of heaven with divine power and the fullness of Glory."
In preparation for this Second Coming and judgment of Christ the Son of Man, the first reading gives us assurance that God is our Father, that God is the potter whose hand made us. Isaiah reminds us that our God is full of mercy and compassion to those who call on him in trust: "You are angry with our sins, yet conceal them and we shall be saved." Our God is one who has performed mighty deeds for his people: "Let them witness your stunning deeds. No one has ever heard or perceived, no eye has ever seen a God besides you who works for those who trust in him."
In the second reading Paul assures us of God's faithful love and continuing grace for each one of us. "He will keep you steadfast to the end, and you will be without reproach on the day of the coming of our Lord Jesus. The faithful God will not fail you after calling you to this fellowship with his Son, Christ Jesus, our Lord."
While we await Christ's Second Coming and judgment with fear and trembling, we do so with hope and confidence in the loving and merciful God our Father.
We pray ...
... for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the unborn
... for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary
... for families who are in need of healing
... for world peace and reconciliation
... for the birthday intentions of
* Rodel de Guzman
* Perry Reyes
... for the wedding anniversary intentions of
* Joseph & Lucy Chua
* Rodel & Angel de Guzman
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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