November 30th, 2014 – First Sunday of Advent – Year B

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Advent rings forth with the Gospel reading’s abrupt words from Jesus: “Be watchful! Be alert!” Coming as it does amid the hustle of the secular holiday season, Jesus’ urgency may be just what we need to jolt us into Advent reflection.
The liturgy draws our attention first to the hope of Christ’s return in glory. We look forward to the time when “gathered at his right hand, [we] may be worthy to possess the heavenly Kingdom” (Collect).

Yet, our celebration does not direct us only heavenward, and so we pray after Communion that “you teach us…to love the things of heaven.” As if acknowledging that we are yet unready to assume our full citizenship in the heavenly realm, we hear in the First Reading that “all of us have be-come like unclean people, all our good deeds are like pol-luted rags.” Still, we find assurance in God “the potter,” who can remake us once more in the divine image. Indeed, Paul reminds us in the Second Reading that we are “not lacking in any spiritual gift” as we await “the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

While Advent does not have the full penitential character of Lent, it does call for simplicity both in church and at home. Take time to reflect on those things that prevent Christ ‘s full revelation among us. Then, indeed, we will be ready “to run forth to meet…Christ” (Collect) on the day of glory.