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

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We, the people of St Francis Xavier - St Clare parish, seek to live Christ-centred lives, celebrating God’s presence & our faith values through worship, outreach, service, justice & hospitality.

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Next meeting: 4 February 2016


First Reading
Jer 33:14-16
The day is coming when the Lord will fulfil his promises.

Responsorial Psalm
Ps 24:4-5. 8-9. 10. 14. R. v.1

Second Reading
1 Thes 3:12 – 4:2
Conduct yourself in a way pleasing to God.

Gospel Acclamation
Ps 84:8

Lk 21:25-28. 34-36
Be ready for the second coming.





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