November 28, 2021 First Sunday of Advent
The images described in the gospel for this weekend are indeed disturbing.
- Do you remember that Jesus is still going to return at the end of time?
- Did Jesus promise that he would return? Absolutely!
- Did Jesus say when he would return? No!
- Did Jesus know when he was going to return? The gospels seem to indicate that no one knows, not the angels in heaven, not Jesus himself but only the Father.
Imagine the End
Can you imagine what it will be like on the last day of human history.
- The sky will turn a scarlet red.
- The skies will be torn open.
- Lightning will flash across the sky.
- The earth will be shaken.
- There will be the roar of a mighty explosion, 100 times louder than thunder.
- Time will cease.
- Finally, Christ will appear with a mighty army of angels on the clouds of heaven.
- It will be judgment day.
- Some people will be terrified while others will shout for joy.
- All will be made right. Justice shall prevail.
- Some will depart into the everlasting flames of hell where they will be consumed by fire.
- Others will enter into unimaginable glory.
- As Saint Paul says, “Eye has not seen, ear has not heard nor has it even so much dawned on the human imagination what God has prepared for those who love him.”
- This will be the most significant event in human history since the creation of the world.
- At the end of the Gospel here is the advice of Jesus “be vigilant and pray”
As we have so many times, we begin the season of advent. Advent reminds us of the comings of Christ.
Historical coming of Christ
In our first reading from the Book of the Prophet Jeremiah, God makes the promise that he will send someone to set Israel free.
- It is described as the “Day of the Lord.”
- It is the day when God will manifest his presence to the human family.
- It is the promise to Israel that God would send them a Messiah.
- He will be born of the house of David.
Advent recalls that first historical coming of Christ in Bethlehem.
Additionally, this Sunday reminds us that Jesus will come at the end of time.
- The readings focus our attention on the preparation for that ultimate coming.
- The Church does not want us to grow sluggish and forget that ultimate promise.
Jesus comes to us now
However, in between these two Comings of Christ, the historical one and his coming at the end of time, Jesus comes into our lives every day.
- Advent is a time set aside for us to become aware and prepare for that daily coming.
- Advent is a gift of time. God means it to be a time of reflection and preparation.
- Advent is a time of joy but it is also a preparation for Christ coming into our lives now and also the preparation for the celebration of his birth and entrance into human history.
- Additionally, it is the time to free ourselves from distractions and from anything that prevents us from focusing on God‘s presence..
Make this advent the best advent that you have had in a long time.
- Of course, do what you must do to prepare for Christmas, but don’t let that dominate your time.
- However, don’t let that overwhelm you.
- This is a time of grace.
- God has something planned for you and it is big.
- Get ready!
- We are all beginning Advent. Remember, God became flesh and entered our world just for you.
- God has come to each of us in spite of our sinfulness.
- God desires to set us free.
- Everyone has good reason for new and wonderful hope.
Don’t ignore what God is doing in you.
- Don’t waste these next couple of weeks.
- Yes, Jesus will come at the end of time.
- Yes, he will come to each of us at the moment of our passage into eternity. But most of all, he comes to us now.
- Be vigilant and pray always