First Sunday of Advent

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Gospel Reflection for the First Sunday of Advent – December 2nd 2012

Full scripture for this Sunday  is available on our parish website. Daily Scripture is also available. Our parish Prayers of the Faithful for this Sunday are made available on the Dublin Diocesan website.


SCRIPTURE

Jesus said to his disciples: ‘There will be signs in the sun and moon and stars; on earth nations in agony, bewildered by the clamour of the ocean and its waves; men dying of fear as they await what menaces the world, for the powers of heaven will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. When these things begin to take place, stand erect, hold your heads high, because your liberation is near at hand.’

‘Watch yourselves, or your hearts will be coarsened with debauchery and drunkenness and the cares of life, and that day will be sprung on you suddenly, like a trap. For it will come down on every living man on the face of the earth. Stay awake, praying at all times for the strength to survive all that is going to happen, and to stand with confidence before the Son of Man.’

Luke 21:25-28, 34-36

Taken from THE JERUSALEM BIBLE, published and copyright 1966, 1967 and 1968 by Darton, Longman and Todd Ltd and Doubleday, a division of Random House Inc, and used by permission of the publishers.


REFLECTION

The four weeks of Advent are a slow waiting. One candle this week. The empty crib.  With Mary and Joseph we wait for Christ. The candles lighting the way for them — and for us, one each week of Advent.

Christmas should come quickly – the message of the ads.  We could be excused for thinking it is nearly over.  The Christmas parties are well under way.  Some dinners for the elderly have been held already.  The carols have been played for weeks now. I saw an ad for a Christmas Mass for next Friday.

Slow Waitings
The best waitings like waiting for birth are slow. Parents wonder about their child  who will he/she be like? Mother needing support and love;  the children look forward to another baby; grand-parents wait in pride. Even when the family situation is limited, we wait in joy and hope for the child. Like Mary and Joseph, Elizabeth and Zechariah and all the bible parents who waited, often for many years.

Faith Growing
How is my faith this year from last year? And what would I be asking for? Would I promise anything to help me wait actively for Jesus – Mass more often than Sunday, the Angelus every day, read the gospel each day, apart from being kinder and more just, care for the poor and needy at home or away. Let my Advent bring me closer to God and effect for the best the lives of those close to me. If we wait in faith and in hope, then everything, even the carols sung too early and the celebrations too early, can remind us of the God who is coming soon in Jesus Christ, to be born of Mary.

Mary, may I wait with you in joy and in patience and in hope.

Donal Neary SJ

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