First Sunday of Advent
December 2, 2018 – Year C
Readings: Jer 33:14-16 / Ps 25 / 1 Thes 3:12 – 4:2 / Lk 21:25-28, 34-36
by Rev. Salvador Añonuevo, Pastor
We must have heard of, or even participated in, the celebration called “Christmas in July.” But in our Church, we celebrate the new year in December (or sometimes in November.) Today, the first Sunday of Advent, we begin a new year in our liturgical calendar. As the first candle in our Advent wreath is lit, we are reminded of the glad tidings of the new beginning in our lives as sons and daughters of God. In most Sundays in the next twelve months, the Gospel of Luke will be our guide on how to get to know the Lord Jesus better, so we can love Him more. Luke the Evangelist will show us the way to live a true Christian life.
The season of Advent has two parts. The first is our preparation for the second coming of the Lord. The second is our preparation for the celebration of Jesus’ birthday, which we call Christmas. God’s words in the Advent readings will enlighten us on how to focus on the real reason for the season, because human as we are, we could easily be distracted by the trimmings of the celebration.
A story is told about a young mother who was running furiously from store to store doing last minute Christmas shopping. Suddenly, she became aware that the pudgy little hand of her three-year-old son was no longer clasped to hers. In panic, she retraced her steps and found him standing with his little nose pressed flat against a frosty window. He was gazing at the manger scene. Hearing his mother’s hysterical call, he turned and shouted with joy, “Look Mommy! It’s Baby Jesus in the hay!” With obvious indifference to his excitement and wonder, she impatiently pulled him away saying, “Let’s go. We don’t have time for that.”
In the gospel of Luke that we have just heard, the Lord Jesus said, “Beware that your hearts do not become drowsy from…the anxieties of daily life.” But how do we maintain our focus on the most important part of life here on earth and do the things which will not only give us temporary happiness but eternal joy? The good news is that, in the same gospel, the Lord Jesus gave us this simple advice: “Be vigilant at all times,” and most of all—pray.