1st Sunday of Advent

Sunday, November 29, 2020
Catholic Handicapped Day
1st Sunday of Advent

First reading: Is. 63:16-17,19b; 64:2-7

You, LORD, are our father, our redeemer you are named forever. Why do you let us wander, O LORD, from your ways, and harden our hearts so that we fear you not? Return for the sake of your servants, the tribes of your heritage.

Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down, with the mountains quaking before you, while you wrought awesome deeds we could not hope for, such as they had not heard of from of old. No ear has ever heard, no eye ever seen, any God but you doing such deeds for those who wait for him. Would that you might meet us doing right, that we were mindful of you in our ways! Behold, you are angry, and we are sinful; all of us have become like unclean people, all our good deeds are like polluted rags; we have all withered like leaves, and our guilt carries us away like the wind. There is none who calls upon your name, who rouses himself to cling to you; for you have hidden your face from us and have delivered us up to our guilt. Yet, O LORD, you are our father; we are the clay and you the potter: we are all the work of your hands.

Second reading: 1 Cor. 1:3-9

Brothers and sisters: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. I give thanks to my God always on your account for the grace of God bestowed on you in Christ Jesus, that in him you were enriched in every way, with all discourse and all knowledge, as the testimony to Christ was confirmed among you, so that you are not lacking in any spiritual gift as you wait for the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ. He will keep you firm to the end, irreproachable on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful, and by him you were called to fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Gospel: Mk. 13:33-37

Jesus said to his disciples: “Be watchful! Be alert! You do not know when the time will come. It is like a man traveling abroad. He leaves home and places his servants in charge, each with his own work, and orders the gatekeeper to be on the watch. Watch, therefore; you do not know when the Lord of the house is coming, whether in the evening, or at midnight, or at cockcrow, or in the morning. May he not come suddenly and find you sleeping. What I say to you, I say to all: ‘Watch!’”

In other words Fr. Magdaleno Fabiosa, SVD (VCR, Christ the King Mission Seminary, Quezon City)

Today, we start the season of Advent, four weeks of preparation for Christmas. The Church wants us to consider waiting for the God who comes.

First, the season of Advent reminds us that essential to completeness and fulfillment as human beings is having a personal relationship with God. Our Christian faith explains how this relationship comes about.

Second, Advent surfaces the truth that God has taken the initiative to come and reach out to us (and continues to do the same today). We do not discover God; it is God who comes and enters into our life. The letter to the Hebrews says, “In the past God spoke to our ancestors many times and in many ways through the prophets, but in these days he has spoken” (and continues to speak today) “to us through his Son.” All we can do is prepare ourselves and wait for his coming. Today’s Gospel says, wait and be prepared!

Third, this God has already come in Jesus. Although he is no longer physically present with us, we may encounter him daily, thus allowing a personal relationship with God to continue and grow. We encounter Jesus in Scriptures—the Word of God. He is present in the sacraments where earthly realities become channels of our encounter with the Resurrected One.

The subtle voice of our conscience is another focus of our encounter with this God who wants to be part of our everyday life. The more we pay attention to this voice, the clearer and louder it becomes. If we habitually take it for granted and behave as if it is not there, a time will come when we become so jaded that we can no longer hear God’s voice within us.

The consequences of our status, profession (our life vocation), no matter how ordinary and banal, are privileged locus of our encounter with God. Through these circumstances in our lives, we bring God from “cloud nine” to the everyday ordinary affairs of human life. Our neighbor is the last locus of our encounter with God. Scriptures say, “Whatever you did to the least of my brothers and sisters, you did it to me!” Jesus could not have been clearer than this. What he wanted to say cannot be misinterpreted. Every neighbor we meet every day is an occasion to encounter God.

Jesus has informed us of these opportunities. Let us not waste them!

Tags: Bible reflection, Witness to the Word