First Sunday of Advent, November 27, 2011, Year B

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Dear Friends:

On this first Sunday of Advent, which is the beginning of a new Liturgical Year, we are given a fresh chance to prepare for the coming of Christ. The season of Advent offers a spiritual wake-up call to us. Unless we are spiritually awake we are only half alive. To be awake spiritually means to be open and receptive; vigilant and active; and to be attentive to God.

Jesus urges us to stay awake, to be on our guard, to be on the watch. In today’s Gospel, it is Christ himself who is asking each one of us so to live our lives, that when we are called to judgment we may not be found wanting. This does not mean that we must be praying constantly. Nor does it mean that we must take no interest in the affairs of this life. Of the two men working in the field and of the two women grinding corn, one of each pair was found unworthy, not because of the work he or she was doing, but because they had excluded God and His purpose in their life. The two who were found worthy had room for God and their own salvation. Their work was part of their loyal service to God and was a means towards their salvation.

In today’s Gospel, Jesus talks about the future coming of the Son of man to encourage people to take responsibility for the present time. The only way to be ready for an unpredictable event is to make the present a time of ‘fidelity’. Then there is nothing to fear. The only way to secure the future is to care about the present and stay awake.

How, then, do we as Christians prepare for Christmas? One beautiful practice is to attend Mass, as far as possible, daily. In the First Reading of today, Isaiah prophesied that people would stream to Jerusalem from all over the world. We do it by faith every time we gather and worship Christ, and every time we read the Bible and meditate. In the Second Reading St Paul exhorts us to fight against sin, mindful that our salvation is near at hand. Work to get rid of all sinful habits. We must ‘put on Christ’. One of the great ways “to put on Christ” is to grow in affection for Christ’s members, first of all for those in our own families. Another thing we can do is to be peacemakers.

When we have peace in our hearts, we radiate it and people sense it. As Christians, it is not enough to be physically awake; we need to be awake socially, morally and spiritually. So, during this Advent season, let us try to focus on Jesus, our Saviour and make our hearts a worthy place for him.


A special Thank you to all who made our Feast Day such a great success, it was the best ever! It was truly a beautiful tribute to our Patroness St. Cecilia.