1st Sunday of Advent (Year A) – 1st Dec 2019

Theme: ADVENT: THE COMING OF JESUS CHRIST!

  • Isaiah 2:1-5;
  • Psalm 121:1-2. 4-5. 6-9. R. v. 1;
  • Romans 13:11-14
  • Matthew 24:37-44 

Today is the first Sunday of Advent. The word Advent means arrival or coming; the coming of Jesus Christ! Jesus Christ came 2,000 years ago in Bethlehem and Jesus Christ will come again at the end of time! When Jesus Christ came 2,000 years ago, he died, rose from the dead, and gave the Holy Spirit! Jesus Christ continues to come to us in the Holy Spirit every Christmas until the end of time when everything will be perfected in the Holy Spirit; then Jesus Christ will come a second time in glory!

Advent is a time when we prepare for the coming of Jesus Christ! The readings today tell us to prepare for the coming of Jesus Christ; but more importantly, the readings today tell us that when Jesus Christ comes, he will bring justice and peace to the whole world! He will bring love, mercy, forgiveness, salvation and joy to the whole world!

The gospel today tells us to prepare for the coming of Jesus Christ. The gospel today tells us that during the time of Noah, people were eating and drinking and marrying, until the floods came and swept them all away! The gospel tells us not to eat and drink and marry until we forget the coming of Jesus Christ!

The gospel also tells us that two men will be working in the fields, but one will be taken away; and two women will be at the millstone grinding, but one will be taken away, that is, the one who is ready and prepared for the coming of Jesus Christ will be taken away to heaven!

Again, the gospel tells us to prepare for the coming of Jesus Christ by not eating and drinking and marrying until we forget the coming of Jesus Christ! Incidentally, it is the practice of our Diocese not to encourage marriages and marriage dinners (“eating” and “drinking”) during Advent!

The second reading also tells us to prepare for the coming of Jesus Christ! The second reading tells us to prepare for the coming of Jesus Christ by living decent lives, that is, no drunken orgies, no indecency, no immorality, no quarrelling and fighting, and no jealousy.

Thus we read in the second reading: “Let us live decently as people do in the daytime: no drunken orgies, no promiscuity or licentiousness, and no wrangling or jealousy.”! (Rm 13:13)

But more importantly, the first reading tells us that when Jesus Christ comes, he will bring justice and peace to all the nations of the world! Thus we read in the first reading: “He will wield authority over the nations and adjudicate between many peoples; these will hammer their swords into ploughshares, their spears into sickles. Nation will not lift sword against nation, there will be no more training for war.”! (Is 2:4)

The responsorial psalm follows the theme of the first reading. The responsorial psalm also tells us that when Jesus Christ comes he will bring justice and peace! Thus we read in the responsorial psalm: “There were set the thrones of judgment of the house of David. For the peace of Jerusalem pray: ‘Peace be to your homes! May peace reign in your walls, in your palaces, peace!’” (Ps 121:5-7)

Both in the first reading and in the responsorial psalm, justice comes before peace; because there can be no peace without justice! But I always remember what our late Pope John Paul II said in reference to the Middle East conflict: ‘There can be no peace without justice, but there can be no justice without forgiveness.’!

Thus when Jesus Christ comes he will bring us not only justice and peace, but also and especially, love, mercy, forgiveness, salvation and joy! Thus we read in the Gospel Acclamation of today’s Mass: “Let us see, O Lord, your mercy and give us your saving help.” (Ps 84:8/SM) An alternative translation reads thus: “Show us, Lord, your love; grant us your salvation.” (Ps 85:8/CSB)     

Again, Advent is a time when we prepare for the coming of Jesus Christ! During this time of Advent, let us be “Santa Claus” to the poor, the sick, the aged, the undocumented, etc., that is, let us practice charity towards them; but even before we practice charity, we must practice justice towards the poor and the undocumented, that is, we must pay them a just and living wage, and we must provide them with health care and decent living conditions, etc.!

During this time of Advent, let us also pray, read the Bible, attend Sunday Masses, attend BEC meetings, receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation (Confession), and let us also go caroling to proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ’s coming!

Today in the Eucharist, we celebrate the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and we eat his body and drink his blood, and the Risen Lord will give us the Holy Spirit, to help us prepare for His coming! And when He comes, he will bring us justice and peace! He will bring us love, mercy, forgiveness, salvation and joy! Amen!

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