for Sunday, November 27, 2016
"Come, let us walk in the light of the Lord!" - This can be our theme all through Advent: to walk in the light of the Lord. Far too often we walk only by our own light and that is why we stumble and fall. The Prohet Isaiah sees this incredible vision that he describes to us today in the first reading: All nations come streaming to God! More than that, Isaiah tells us: "They shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks; one nation shall not raise the sword against another, nor shall they train for war again."
As we look at our world today, none of this seems to be happening. Instead there seems always to be more warfare and more threats of one nation against another. Yet in this time of Advent, we can all set our hearts before the Lord, asking for this vision of Isiah to come true.
The second reading today is from the Letter to the Romans. This time it is not a vision, but an invitation: "Put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the desires of the flesh." This letter sets this invitation once more in the process of moving from the darkness of our sins into the light of God’s love. We should not think of the desires of the flesh as only sexual desires, but at any desire that we have that moves us away from loving God and serving all of the people who come into our lives. These people are all God’s people and we can only prove our love for God by loving His people, not matter how difficult that is at times.
The Gospel of Matthew today tells us that the end of our lives will come when we do not expect it. The end of the world will come when we are not waiting for it. The only solution is to be always watchful and to know that my life can end right this instant and the world could also end. When we take for granted that we will on living and put no attention to the fact that we could die, then we often lose the focus of our lives and begin to live as if there were no God at all.
Today, many people no longer believe. Today even many Christians no longer believe that Jesus is truly God. Instead Jesus has become just a "good teacher" and is nothing more. In this time of Advent this year, we can seek to deepen or faith in the living God, our faith in Jesus as true God and true and, and our faith in the Catholic Church as the living presence of God in our world.
Advent is waiting for the Lord. Advent is not empty waiting. Rather Advent is a time to renew our faith in this God who loves us so much that He sends us His Son in our humanity so that we can share in God’s divinity. God sends us His Spirit to deepen our faith in these great mysteries-but this can only happen when our hearts are open to the Lord!
Readings of the day:
First Reading: Isaiah 2.1-5
Second Reading: Romans 13.11-14
Gospel: Matthew 24.37-44
Reflections are available for the following Sundays: