Thoughts on the Readings for the 1st Sunday of Advent (C) 2016

For this Sunday’s readings click on the link below or copy and paste it into your browser.  http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/112915.cfm 

This Sunday we celebrate the First Sunday of Advent and the beginning of a new Church year.   We are on a three year cycle for our Sunday readings.   We just finished with the “B” cycle where our Gospel readings were taken primarily from the Gospel of Mark.   This Sunday we begin the “C” cycle of readings, and our Gospels will be taken primarily from the Gospel of Luke.   

The major theme(s) of the season of Advent can be summed up in the words: preparation, vigilance, anticipation, and wakefulness as we wait in joyful hope our celebration of the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ, as well as his coming at the end of time.  

Our Gospel this Sunday, like our Gospel last Sunday, is apocalyptic in tone.  Jesus tells his disciples: “There will be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars, and on earth nations will be in dismay, perplexed by the roaring of the sea and the waves………………… And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.”    While we wait for these signs to occur we are to be vigilant so that “your hearts do not become drowsy from carousing and drunkenness and the anxieties of daily life, and that day catch you by surprise like a trap………………… Be vigilant at all times and pray that you have the strength to escape the tribulations that are imminent and to stand before the Son of Man.”  

Our first reading this Sunday is from the Book of the Prophet Jeremiah.   It is a prophecy of hope to the Israelites who faced the conquest of their land by the Babylonians.   “In those days, Judah shall be safe and Jerusalem shall dwell secure; this is what they shall call her:  ‘The Lord our justice.’”  

Our second reading this Sunday is from the first letter of Saint Paul to the Thessalonians.  In the section we read today Paul prays for the Thessalonians. “May the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, just as we have for you you…………..” 

Questions for Reflection/Discussion:

  1. How are you called to “prepare” during this season of Advent?
  2. What helps you to stay steadfast in the face of adversity?
  3. How can you “increase and abound in love?”  
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Comments

"...to increase and abound in love."

When bouts of resentment and self-pity seem to tear away the love, if I ask God for guidance into acceptance and gratitude, then miraculously, if imperfectly, my heart will open and let in love.

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