First Sunday of Advent Year C by Fr. Atta Mensah

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First Sunday of Advent Year C by Fr. Atta Mensah

1st Reading Jeremiah 33:14-16
Responsorial Psalm Psalms 25:4-5, 8-9, 10,
2nd Reading 1 Thessalonians 3:12-4:2
Gospel Luke 21:25-28, 34-36

Theme- Watch And Pray: The Promise of a Better Future

Introduction

We have began a new liturgical year which the season of Advent commences. Advent from the Latin word “adventus” simply means the coming of something or someone of great importance. The season of Advent is a four week period of preparation towards the celebration of the coming of our Lord Jesus who is going to be born as a child in our world and His second coming as a Judge. Thus Advent has both a present and future character. The readings of the first two weeks draw our attention to the second coming of Christ while as the readings of the third and fourth weeks focus much on the prophecies and events concerning the birth of Jesus Christ.

Explanation of the Text

Jeremiah is often described as a Prophet of doom and he is perhaps one of the few Prophets in the Scriptures who suffered humiliation, rejection and imprisonment from his own people. In other words, Jeremiah’s many prophecies of judgement that have landed him in prison- are coming true. Yet now, in the midst of catastrophe, the prophet finally speaks words of promise. To a people devastated by loss, Jeremiah’s prophecy offered hope: “The days are surely coming, says the Lord, when I will fulfill the pride I made to the house of Israel and the house of Judah” ( 33:14). All might seem lost, but God still is faithful. The house of David might be cut down, but God is able to bring life out of death. A branch will sprout.

My dear people of God, the same proclamation is given today to us, inheritors of Jeremiah’s task. We are called to speak a word of hope and promise in a world often filled with fear and uncertainty, even despair. Especially in this season of Advent, we speak words of hope. In the midst of darkness, light is about to break in. In the midst of despair, hope erupts. After long waiting, a branch will sprout. The complete fulfilment of God’s promises has not yet happened but it is coming. Such is Advent faith and Advent hope.

Luke 21 tells us that people will know fear, that earth and heaven will be traumatized and that, “then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud”- with power and glory”. But the difficulty with this text nay pericope is that there have been ( and presumably will be many more) times when there is distress among the nations and the heavens appear to be shaken. How will we know, when will we see and how long must we wait? Patience, it seems may be exactly what is at stake for Luke’s community as it awaits the day of the Lord.

Patience in this life is often the key issue for us as well. Patience in the face of promises yet to be kept; patience in the meantime of enduring illness, broken relationships and unrealized expectations. Unfortunately the virtue of patience seems to be lost in our world today. It looks like everyone is in haste. As we await the fulfilment of the promise we are being admonished to watch and pray. Paul in our second reading from 1 Thessalonians reiterates same as he prays that we will be blameless on the day of the Lord. Watch and pray for the promise of a better future.

Source

www.catholicinformer.com

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