November 17, 2013 – Thirty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time
Most theologians concur that Advent is a dual preparation, both for the birth of Christ but also for His Second Coming. All the readings for this last Sunday in Ordinary Time point toward preparation and Christ’s Second Coming (the Parousia or Second Advent).
Nevertheless, that can be complex and complicated, so let us concentrate on the simple exercise of preparation. If we practice stewardship, we understand that the Church, its Masses and liturgies, and its approach to organizing our faith lives are all intended to deepen our relationship with Christ. Stewardship is intended to lead us to serve others, but even more so it is a means to bring us closer to the Lord.
The reading from Malachi, Paul’s letter to the Thessalonians, and Jesus’ words in the Temple from Luke’s Gospel all direct us to the idea of preparing ourselves spiritually. We all know that symbols of Christmas seem to appear earlier and earlier. Our stewardship lesson this week is to keep focused, to maintain our concentration on being good stewards and disciples of Christ, and to try to avoid getting too caught up in all the activity and adornments that come with the Advent/Christmas season, which of course is a detriment of our holy approach to this special time of year.