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Homily for the First Sunday of Advent

First Sunday of Advent

Isaiah 63: 16-17, 19, 64: 2-7; Psalm 80; 1 Corinthians 1: 3-9; Mark 13: 33-37

Saint John Baptist de LaSalle/Saint Stephen December 3, 2023

Well, it’s all over, Thanksgiving, that is. I waited for its coming, and just like that, it’s over and we move on to the next thing. Now, today we have begun our Advent Season. However, I am always grateful for the coming of Advent. It's my favorite time of the liturgical year mainly because of the beautiful Scripture readings offered by our Church, and the music chosen to reflect this season. Soon we will be hearing about John the Baptist and his arrival in the life of Jesus. Then there will be a cry of sadness from the great Prophet Isaiah, expressed on behalf of all the people, that God has abandoned them. Isaiah will remind those who have lost hope that a peaceful time is coming, and it’s coming soon, when “every valley shall be filled in” and “every mountain and hill shall be made low.”

Yes, Advent is a wonderful season, a time of expectation, hope and newness. Advent is a time of desire for the coming of Jesus. Advent is really like getting ready for Christmas, ready for the coming of the Christ. To do this we have to be attentive to the “signs of the times” and the invitations from God for us to change. Through the Prophets God invites us to a change of mind and heart. In this Sunday’s Gospel, Jesus says, “Be watchful! Be alert!” We will never know how people who heard these words felt, did they really believe that Jesus would, “return soon?” However, we can easily see this as an invitation to grow, to become the kind of person God wants us to be, to change and experience the newness of life. That means that we must stop and take a good look at ourselves, every day, week by week, month by month, and ask: “how is God asking me to be formed." Advent is our time to “start being alert.”

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