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Scripture Reflections - December 1
First Sunday of Advent

Is. 2:1-5
Rom 13:11-14
Mt. 24:37-44

Archives Msgr Paul E. Whitmore
Msgr. Paul E. Whitmore

Another Advent begins this Sunday. It’s a time to prepare for the coming of the Messiah again. It’s a time to stir up in our faith communities the reason for celebration. It’s time to open the doors of our hearts to God’s Son, who comes again from heaven to save us from sins and betrayals of His love and mercy.

In the first reading from Isaiah, God invited the divided kingdom of Israel to climb the holy mountain to God’s house. There, He will melt down their swords and turn their hearts to thoughts of peace. What seemed to them an impossible dream actually came true 700 years later when Jesus was born. The kingdom was united, and peace ruled the whole world.

The message for us is clear. We must continually strive to work for a peaceful and just world, so Christ may have room in all our hearts. How? We must listen carefully to the thoughts inspired by the daily Scripture readings.

The second reading from Paul to the Romans insists that we wake up and throw off the works of darkness. If we follow Paul’s advice to walk in the light, then Advent is a time for sincere riddance of sinful ways and sluggish response to the teaching of Jesus and His Church.

In the Gospel, Jesus warns us that we must be prepared, for “at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come.” We wonder for how many people, this Christmas will be the last time they will celebrate on this earth. We need to take this Advent seriously, for the Second Coming of the Lord will be the actual day of judgment.

The readings this Sunday alert us to something about to begin, and we must be ready for the newness. Night is ending. Dawn is at hand. “Stay awake.” Put on “the armor of light.” And “let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.” There is a sense of anticipation. Advent is that anticipation, that moment of joyful hope. We do not light all four candles of our advent wreaths at once. We go one at a time so that our light will gather and grow.

For a starter, read your whole parish bulletin today. There you may find ideas for some special Advent activities.

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