First Sunday in the Season of Advent

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Be watchful! Be alert!
You do not know when the time will come.
It is like a man traveling abroad.
He leaves home and places his servants in charge,
each with his own work,
and orders the gatekeeper to be on the watch.
Watch, therefore;
you do not know when the Lord of the house is coming,
whether in the evening, or at midnight,
or at cockcrow, or in the morning.
May he not come suddenly and find you sleeping.
What I say to you, I say to all: ‘Watch!’” (Mk 13:33-37).
[1]

Today we celebrate the First Sunday of Advent and a new liturgical year for the Church, year B. In today’s readings at Mass, we are reminded of Christ’s Second Coming, His return on the ‘last day.’ We are encouraged to reflect upon this event and look for ways to have it direct our daily actions. The metaphor of the gatekeeper on duty reminds us that vigilance is necessary. As Christians, we know that our Lord is coming even if we cannot know a precise time. Our Lord calls us to be watchful and attentive, not to be carried away by the flood as in the days of Noah. If we become loose in our Christian living, we may be caught vulnerable and unprepared. As we wait expectantly, we prepare to encounter our Lord and welcome the day when His justice, compassion, and joy will reign in all its fullness.[2]

Written by Sarah Ciotti
[1] Excerpts from the Lectionary for Mass for Use in the Dioceses of the United States of America, second typical edition © 2001, 1998, 1997, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington, DC. Used with permission. All rights reserved.
[2] Adrian Nocent, OSB, The Liturgical Year: Advent, Christmas, Epiphany (Collegeville, MN: The Order of St. Benedict, Inc., 1977), 100-118.

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