Soul Food for Hungry Adult Communities: First Sunday of Advent, Year A: December 1st 2013.
Gospel: St. Matthew 22:36-44. First Reading: Isaiah 2:1-5: Psalm 122: Second Reading: Romans 13:11-14. Click here for this Sunday’s Mass Readings.
ADVENT IS A GIFT!
Jingle, bells! Jingle, bells!
Ever find yourself waking up in a strange place? ‘Where am I? There’s an alarm ringing! Is it the burglar alarm? Or is it my alarm clock, my wake-up call? I take my bearings,- I remember now where I am, and what the alarm bell is about. It’s time to begin a new day.’
Or: I can ignore the alarm. Let it ring! It will stop in a couple of minutes. Then, I can go back to sleep.
Or: We can let Advent simply pass us by: ignore it; turn a deaf ear to it. It will stop ringing in a little while.
Then Christmas will come, we’ll give the presents, eat the dinner, and sleepwalk right through the whole season. We will have the experience, but will miss the meaning.
‘Wakey! Wakey!’ That’s what the call is, this Sunday. “Come, let us go up to…the LORD…that he may teach us his ways and that we may walk in his paths. Come, let us walk in the light of the LORD!’ It’s time to wake up, and to come to the Lord, so that we may learn once more or for the first time, to ‘walk in his paths’, to ‘walk in the light of the LORD.’
LIGHTS, LIGHTS, LIGHTS, everywhere, as we approach Bethlehem! There’s a star that’s calling us to the manger, and the manger itself is full of light, for us, for the world, – so that we may set aside our bitterness, our wars, our hatreds, our meanness, our darkness of heart towards each other, and turn our hearts of war into hearts of peace, our hearts of destruction into hearts that bring life;- or, as the prophet Isaiah puts it today for us ‘(The peoples) shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.’
And again: ‘You know what time it is, how it is now the moment for you to wake from sleep…the night is far gone, the day is near. Let us then lay aside the works of darkness and put on…light…put on the Lord Jesus Christ.’ That’s Paul, today, talking to the Roman Christians and to us.
The word ‘Advent’ means the Approach, or the Coming: Advent is our call to prepare, reminding us that the dawn is near, Christ is near- it’s time for us to wake up and put on the Lord Jesus Christ, time to get out of our ‘sleeping’ clothes, and clothe ourselves with Christ.
The Dawn is coming. The sun of Bethlehem will light up the world. And, it’s good to hear our alarm bells ringing. Christ is trying to break into our world!
Pray ‘Jingle, bells! Jingle, bells!’ Pray that we will all be woken up! Wakey! Wakey!,- that’s the call to us, this First Sunday of Advent. The Lord is coming!
Fr. Seamus firstname.lastname@example.org