for Sunday, December 2, 2012
God Himself has promised us salvation. God Himself promises to watch over
us and to be with us. God never promises us that everything will be
wonderful and that we will have everything that we want. Instead, God
promises us freedom from sin and life everlasting. These are probably not
very exciting ideas in our present age, when no one believes in sin. At
least it often appears that way.
Advent is a time for a new beginning. Each of us can look into his or her
heart and wonder if we are truly seeking God. The more that we seek to
follow Jesus Christ, it seems, the more we realize that we are sinners.
This awareness does not make us feel sad about ourselves. Instead, it
simply helps us understand that we fall short of what He invites us to
live. So as we follow Him, we realize more and more that we need the
forgiveness of our sins.
The Book of Jeremiah sets out for us the goal of this Advent. He is our
justice. It is not the world that is our justice. It is not the present
world that is our justice. It is not the political parties, wherever we
are, that are justice. Only God is justice. Only Jesus Christ is
The First Letter to the Thessalonians is so clear this Sunday: brothers
and sisters, we earnestly ask and exhort you in the Lord Jesus that, as you
received from us how you should conduct yourselves to please God - and as you
are conducting yourselves - you do so even more. For you know what
instructions we gave you through the Lord Jesus.
We know what Jesus calls us to live. All we have to do is open our hearts
and our minds. So much of the present world wants to change His words so
that whatever civil society calls holy is now holy. This is not the Word
of the Lord. The Word of the Lord Jesus is always clear: Repent and
believe the Gospel. Live in purity. Live in love of one another, but a
chaste love. Serve the poor. Love your enemies. Seek God in all things.
The Gospel of Luke then warns us that the end can come at any time. We
have heard this for the past two Sundays, at the end of Ordinary Time. Be
vigilant at all times is what we need to hear. Not because we must live in
fear, but because we want to grow in love. When the end comes, we want to
be people of love.
Advent is the time to prepare our hearts once again so that Christ can
continue His Incarnation within each one of us. He wants to possess us
entirely and invites us to follow Him. If we follow Him, we becomes
strangers to the ways of the world. It is a process. Sometimes He demands
that we follow Him immediately. At other times, He invites us. Sometime
we cannot resist His call. At other times, we are uneasy about being so
May this Advent transform our lives so that we become completely faithful
in the following the Lord Jesus Christ.
Readings of the day:
First Reading: Jeremiah 33.14-16
Second Reading: 1 Thessalonians 3.12 – 4.2
Gospel: Luke 21.25-28, 34-36
Reflections are available for the following Sundays: