Sunday, December 1, 2013

First Sunday of Advent 2013 (2014 in the Church Calendar)



Today begins the whirlwind that is the holiday season.  No, I don't participate in the "Black Friday" madness nor do I have angst over Thanksgiving.  I do, however, feel as if I hit the ground running, while far behind the curveball when the first Sunday of Advent is hear.  I look forward to Christmas and the coming of our Savior's birth[day], but it is also a time to remember that He will be coming again.

The readings at this time of the year reflect the dual meaning of the Advent Season, and today was no exception.  The first reading was from Isaiah, looking toward the first Coming of the Messiah.

This is what Isaiah, son of Amoz, saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem.
In days to come, the mountain of the LORD’s house shall be established as the highest mountain and raised above the hills.  All nations shall stream toward it; many peoples shall come and say:

“Come, let us climb the LORD’s mountain, to the house of the God of Jacob, that he may instruct us in his ways, and we may walk in his paths.”  For from Zion shall go forth instruction, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.  He shall judge between the nations, and impose terms on many peoples.  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.  O house of Jacob, come, let us walk in the light of the Lord!  [Isaiah 2:1-5]

This is an obvious reference to the coming of the Messiah, but it can be seen as looking toward His Second Coming also.

The responsorial Psalm today reflects the joy that we feel at the coming of the Lord--the joy of the Season.


 R. Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.
I rejoiced because they said to me,
“We will go up to the house of the LORD.”
And now we have set foot
within your gates, O Jerusalem.
R. Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.
Jerusalem, built as a city
with compact unity.
To it the tribes go up,
the tribes of the LORD.
R. Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.
According to the decree for Israel,
to give thanks to the name of the LORD.
In it are set up judgment seats,
seats for the house of David.
R. Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.
Pray for the peace of Jerusalem!
May those who love you prosper!
May peace be within your walls,
prosperity in your buildings.
R. Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.
Because of my brothers and friends
I will say, “Peace be within you!”
Because of the house of the LORD, our God,
I will pray for your good.
R. Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.
[Psalm 122:1-9]

The second reading is from St. Paul's letter to the Romans telling them how we should live while we await Christ's return.

Brothers and sisters:
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;
the night is advanced, the day is at hand.
Let us then throw off the works of darkness
and put on the armor of light;
let us conduct ourselves properly as in the day,
not in orgies and drunkenness, not in promiscuity and lust,
not in rivalry and jealousy.
But put on the Lord Jesus Christ,
and make no provision for the desires of the flesh.

[Romans 13:11-14]

And then there is the Gospel, the Word of God proclaimed in the Mass, with Jesus telling His followers of His coming again.

Jesus said to his disciples:
“As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.
In those days before the flood, they were eating and drinking,
marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day that Noah entered the ark.
They did not know until the flood came and carried them all away.
So will it be also at the coming of the Son of Man.
Two men will be out in the field; one will be taken, and one will be left.
Two women will be grinding at the mill; one will be taken, and one will be left.
Therefore, stay awake! For you do not know on which day your Lord will come.
Be sure of this: if the master of the house had known the hour of night when the thief was coming,
he would have stayed awake and not let his house be broken into.
So too, you also must be prepared, for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come.”
[Matthew 24:37-44]

So, always be ready, He could show up at any moment.  Happy Advent Season!  

Scripture readings from the USCCB website.

No comments: