Soul Food for Young Adult Communities: Dec.1st 2013: First Sunday of Advent, Year A.
Click here for Mass Readings for this Sunday. Gospel is Matthew 24:37-44. Find it in your own Bible.
(Greetings to the Leaving Cert Students from Tulla, in County Clare! Thanks for coming to Esker! It was a delight to have you here for these two days! Best wishes and every blessing!)
Have you ever noticed at traffic lights, that when the little red man pops up, it warns us that we as pedestrians must stop!!! Then, after waiting, waiting and some more waiting, finally his green counterpart awakens and we can then proceed safely with our journey. Everything we do in life involves a somewhat waiting process. And all for good reason, though at the time we feel delayed and held back. It’s true what they say ‘good things come to those who wait’.
As we enter the Season of Advent, we begin the wait for the coming of Our Lord Jesus Christ. The word Advent itself comes from the Latin word adventus, which means arrival or coming. As St. Paul tells us in the second reading today “this is the time to awake, for our salvation is now nearer than when we first believed”. This is a solemn time when we prepare our hearts for His wonderful coming. Just as with the traffic lights, each week as we journey deeper and deeper into this mystery
another light beckons us further and further on our way, moving closer to Jesus. Finally, the White candle is ignited, and all life is changed, and we are changed by its radiance. That radiance is Jesus Christ. Jesus is the Light that beckons us forward, like the little green man at the lights, but just like that, we must wait with anticipation for Him.
In today’s Gospel, Jesus tells us to “Stay awake, then, for you do not know on what day your Lord will come”. This calls for alertness and readiness on our part. We must be ready for that moment when the Lord comes. The moment He entered this realm of flesh, He was a tiny infant. So small and fragile. But still, he came, after a long wait. Jesus points out that the coming of the Son of Man will be similar to the time of Noah “before the flood”.
When He comes, everything will be like new, just like after the flood. But when this time is due, no one knows, because “if the owner of the house knew that the thief would come by night around a certain hour, he would stay awake to prevent his house to be broken in to”. There is one song we sing at Mass during this time that I love, it’s called ‘Stay Awake, Be Ready’, which I learned a few years ago in a choir I once belonged to. We would clap our hands between Stay Awake, and Be Ready. To reflect now, the clapping reminds me of the ticking of a clock. At each clap, the hand moves closer and closer to the hour, the time, the moment when the Lord will come “the night is almost over and day is at hand”.