November 27, 2011 — First Sunday of Advent
Advent is a season of joyful anticipation. We anticipate the celebration of Jesus’ birth on Christmas day and we prepare our hearts and minds to celebrate the mystery of the incarnation, but, as today’s readings remind us, Advent is also a time for us to focus on the second coming of Christ and to remind us that we should constantly be watchful and alert, “you do not know when the Lord of the house is coming”
In the first reading, from the book of Isaiah, we hear about a people pleading for the Lord to intervene in their lives in a big way. Then, in the epistle, St. Paul praises the Lord who has intervened in history and sent His Son as the fulfillment of the Jews messianic hope. St. Paul tells the Corinthians, “in Him you were enriched in every way … as the testimony to Christ was confirmed among you, so that you are not lacking in any spiritual gift as you wait for the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
The parable in Mark’s gospel reiterates these sentiments. Jesus tells of a man who travels abroad, placing his servants in charge, each with his own work. He tells the gatekeeper, “Watch, therefore. You do not know when the Lord of the house is coming.”
We have all been blessed beyond belief. Leaving us to care for His creation, God has given us a multitude of gifts. In fact, even our very lives are gifts from God, and as we live life today, we await His return in glory. As stewards of these gifts, we are called to be alert. To always be ready, and to constantly prepare for His return, using the gifts He has given us to build His kingdom, serving our families, our parishes, and the greater community in such a way that others see Christ in us and are, therefore, drawn closer to Him.