Weekly Bulletin w/b 28th November. First Sunday of Advent.

Almighty God, give us grace to cast away the works of darkness and to put on the armour of light, now In the time of this mortal life, in which your Son Jesus Christ came to us in great humility; that on the last day, when he shall come again in his glorious majesty to judge the living and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal; through him who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Readings at Mass

1st Reading. Jeremiah 33: 14-16

The prophet assures the people that God will send the promised one, the Messiah.

2nd Reading. 1 Thessalonians 3: 9-end

Paul prays that the Lord may deepen the love the Thessalonians have for each other, and thus prepare them for the second coming of Christ.

Gospel. St Luke 21: 25-36

In language borrowed from the Old Testament, Luke describes the second coming of Christ. Christians should prepare for it with confidence, vigilance and prayer.

Reflection

The purpose of Advent is to help us prepare for Christmas. We can’t fully understand the message of Christmas unless we are familiar with at least the broad outlines of the history of salvation.

The Advent liturgy relives in a microcosmic way the history of Israel, viewing it through the eyes of Christian faith. It shows that all of that history was pointing and leading towards Jesus. He was the one who fulfilled the messianic prophecies.

Advent takes us back in time so that we may appreciate the greatness of what we are heirs to. We are heirs to the promises God made to the prophets. Advent helps us appreciate the great blessings God has given us in Christ.

Today’s first reading points to the First Coming of Christ. It says the Messiah will be descended from the stock of David, and his reign will be marked by wisdom, justice and integrity.

The Gospel deals with the Second Coming of Christ. The early Christians believed that the Second Coming was near and would be preceded by cosmic signs. The disciples are urged to await the Lord’s coming with confident faith and a prayerful longing (Flor MaCarthy).

The Christian is waiting for the glory of Christ to be revealed in all its fullness. This aspect of waiting conveys the real meaning of Advent as we wait in joyful hope until he comes in glory. We live in the in-between period in the history of man’s salvation. Christ has come to Bethlehem. This is the first coming and we who have received Him have been given the power to become sons of God. Now we wait for the second coming when the light of Christ in all its beauty will finally rise upon the darkness of the world. We do not know when this will happen and so in Advent we watch and wait in hope.