Gospel Meditation

1st Sunday of Advent
“Be watchful!  Be alert!  You do not know when the time will come.”  On this First Sunday of Advent, Jesus gives us a wakeup call.  This is no time for slumber.  Now is the time to be on our toes, alert, attentive, ready.  But for what?  For the coming of “the Lord of the house.”

During Advent, the Church does her best to help us get ready for the second coming of Christ.  We don’t know precisely when he will return, but we know that he will.  And the fact is, even if it doesn’t happen in our lifetime, each and every one of us will still have to face the Lord at an unknown hour—namely, the hour of our death.

So let us be prepared!  Let us be on the watch for anything that would threaten this most important of all encounters.  We want to recognize the Lord as a friend and master, so that on seeing him we don’t cower in fear at his awesome power and strength.  Instead, we hope to rejoice in finally being able to behold him face-to-face.  This of course is the result of a healthy and holy relationship with Christ.

To nurture such a relationship this Advent season the Church urges us to recommit to a life of prayer, worthy reception of the sacraments, and a commitment to following God’s loving laws through a life of virtue.  With these priorities in order, we can wait for the second coming with joyful anticipation, just as we joyfully await the celebration of Christmas.

During these weeks as we prepare our homes for the festive holiday season, may we also set aside some time and effort to prepare our hearts. Then, not only will we appreciate the yuletide wonders around us, but we can also look forward to the eternal wonders that lie in store.