Sunday, December 2
First Sunday of Advent
Luke 21: 25-28, 34-36
Jesus said to his disciples:
“There will be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars,
and on earth nations will be in dismay,
perplexed by the roaring of the sea and the waves.
People will die of fright
in anticipation of what is coming upon the world,
for the powers of the heavens will be shaken.
And then they will see the Son of Man
coming in a cloud with power and great glory.
But when these signs begin to happen,
stand erect and raise your heads
because your redemption is at hand.
“Beware that your hearts do not become drowsy
from carousing and drunkenness
and the anxieties of daily life,
and that day catch you by surprise like a trap.
For that day will assault everyone
who lives on the face of the earth.
Be vigilant at all times
and pray that you have the strength
to escape the tribulations that are imminent
and to stand before the Son of Man.”
I’m convinced that there is no more satisfying experience than fresh beginnings. Nothing communicates hope and potential like a newly moved in home, a freshly painted room, a new friendship, or a new job. It seems like we all desire for a second chance, we all long for a renewal that will bring out the best in us in order to finally get things right. Many view the new year as just that, as 365 days to start again and work to that place we so long to be in life.
For the Christian, the longing for renewal is achieved not so much by us, but by Jesus Christ who “Makes All Things New” (Rev. 21:5). Advent is one of my favorite times of the year and to be honest I probably get just as excited about Advent as I do about Christmas. The reason is because Advent presents for us Christians a time to anticipate that so long renewal, that hope for the promise of change, of relief, of freedom and of new beginnings that is fulfilled with the arrival of Christ on Christmas Day.
The Church’s liturgy in this time points us to the promise of God, of the arrival of his divine son, not as some time constrained event that has occurred in history, but as a promise that continues to manifest itself in our lives in the present, and that will ultimately be fulfilled in his second coming. In this time of Advent, the Church calls us to recognize our deep desire for renewal, our weakness and our need for our savior and in so to truly expect the arrival of Christ in our hearts on Christmas. May you be filled with that deep sense of Hope for Him who so longs to be born in stable of your heart this Christmas Season.
Deacon Alfonso Gamez