December 3, 2017 — First Sunday of Advent
This First Sunday of Advent marks the beginning of a new liturgical year. All the readings during this period of waiting and anticipation concentrate on making us aware that it is time for us to awaken our lives as Christians. Jesus opens our Gospel Reading from St. Mark by saying “Be watchful! Be alert!” and closes it with an intense “Watch!”
For many Advent and Christmas are times of light, whether it is the light of the candles on Advent wreaths or the lights on a tree or the festive lights which decorate many houses and businesses. Jesus brings light into our worlds, but we must allow this light to permeate our own lives, to enter into the dark and sinful parts of our lives to illuminate and cleanse them.
This should be a time of renewed prayer and penance which truly prepares us to “watch” for the Lord, not just at Christmas but throughout our lives. There is a natural wonder among children at this time of year, but sometimes as we age, we lose that sense as if we are sleeping. It is time to awaken. Our minds may say “Let go” but our spirituality tells us to “Awaken.” We are filled with spiritual depths. It is time to seek them, find them, and awaken them. It is Advent, time for us to awaken and become aware of the gifts of love we have received from God and others. Or as Jesus reminds us: “Watch.”