1st SUNDAY OF ADVENT
We are, perhaps, used to thinking of the season
of Advent as a time of preparation for the celebration of Christmas.
But this week’s readings, and the readings of the next few weeks,
remind us that the notion of preparation extends well beyond the
celebration of the birth of Jesus. We are reminded that we are,
in fact, living in an ‘in-between time’. From this week’s first
reading we are reminded that the expectation of a Messiah was
a very long-standing hope for Israel. The coming of the Messiah
would usher in a new prosperity and a divine reign of God. The
earliest Christians began to see that the ancient prophecies could
all be applied to Jesus and they began to regard Jesus as the
promised Messiah – the fulfilment of prophecy. However, Jesus
also promised that he would come again, and the expectation of
the first followers of Jesus was that his return would be in their
lifetime. In our second reading from the letter to the Thessalonians,
we can see the growing realisation that perhaps Jesus’ return
will not occur within the current generation. This realisation
had a dramatic effect on the life and faith of the community.
Imagine living with the belief that the end of time was going
to occur not just in your lifetime but literally any day now.
Slowly, they realised that Jesus’ words were not that specific
and the time of return had not been identified. What Jesus had
called for was a state of readiness, a state of preparedness.
This didn’t mean he was coming immediately; what it meant was
that there was need to get the house in order because he would
be coming at some time. Advent is a time to remember that we still
haven’t really got the house in order.
© Fr Greg Sunter
©Creative Ministry Resources
the people of St Francis Xavier - St Clare parish, seek to live
lives, celebrating God’s presence & our faith values
through worship, outreach, service, justice & hospitality.
our Vision Statement
READINGS THIS WEEK
The day is coming when the Lord will fulfil his promises.
Ps 24:4-5. 8-9. 10. 14. R. v.1
1 Thes 3:12 – 4:2
Conduct yourself in a way pleasing to God.
Lk 21:25-28. 34-36
Be ready for the second coming.