Reflection for the First Sunday of Advent

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Reflection for the First Sunday of Advent

First Sunday of Advent 

Jeremiah 33:14-16

1 Thessalonians 3:12 – 4:2

Luke 21:25-28, 34-36

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Reflection by Sister Lisa Maurer

“Days are coming, says the Lord” (Jeremiah 33:14).

These are the first words of the first reading for this first week of Advent.

Days are coming, says the Lord.

First Sunday of AdventI am thankful for these words that grab my attention, that are filled with anticipation. You see, I sometimes worry when we come to Advent. I worry that it is going to be the same old, same old. The same four weeks. The same four candles around the same old wreath. The same readings, albeit in a different cycle but nonetheless we’ve heard them before. But this is different.

Days are coming, says the Lord.

The Prophet Jeremiah spoke these words many centuries ago to a broken world that was not much different from ours. Yet in its brokenness Jeremiah spoke words full of hope and joy. This prophet, who lived in exile with his own people, believed with his whole being that God would renew his promises of love and care for his people. And the good news is, those same promises are still ours today.

Days are coming, says the Lord.

Through his words in the Gospel, Jesus, like Jeremiah, aims to get our attention. At the end of a lengthy dialogue in which Jesus predicts the destruction of the Jerusalem Temple, he warns about persecutions and tribulations.

Days are coming, says the Lord.

Jesus speaks of his Second Coming by telling of great wonders and amazing signs, things that are frightening and unbelievable. After describing the cosmic signs, Jesus warns us to be vigilant at all times and tells us to pray for “the strength to stand before the Son of Man.”

Days are coming, says the Lord.

Jesus says that we are to stay awake and pray. We are to prepare ourselves to meet him. He warns us to not let our hearts become drowsy. In other words, we cannot lose interest or become stale in our observance of Advent. Jesus also warns us to avoid “carousing and drunkenness.” In other words, we cannot be swept away with the worldly trappings of this seasons nor become distracted by “anxieties of daily life.”

Days are coming, says the Lord.

So, how are we to conduct ourselves as we respond to the warning that these days are coming? 

In his first letter to the Thessalonians, St. Paul tells us that, first, we are to “increase and abound in love for one another and for all.” Secondly, we are to “strengthen our hearts” and be “holy before our God and Father.” And finally, we are to conduct ourselves as pleasing to God by remembering all the instructions we have through our Lord Jesus.

Days are coming, says the Lord.

May this Advent make us ready.

  

  

  

  

  

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