Sunday, December 2, 2012

Gospel Reflection

December 02, 2012
First Sunday of Advent – Year of Faith
by Rev. Fr. Jose Timajo (San Juan Nepomuceno Parish, Malibay, Pasay City)
Anticipated Sunday Mass, Sto Nino de Paz Chapel, Greenbelt, Makati

Reading 1 Jer 33:14-16

The days are coming, says the LORD, when I will fulfill the promise I made to the house of Israel and Judah. In those days, in that time, I will raise up for David a just shoot ; he shall do what is right and just in the land. In those days Judah shall be safe and Jerusalem shall dwell secure; this is what they shall call her: "The LORD our justice."

Responsorial Psalm Ps 25:4-5, 8-9, 10, 14

R. (1b) To you, O Lord, I lift my soul.
Your ways, O LORD, make known to me;
teach me your paths,
Guide me in your truth and teach me,
for you are God my savior,
and for you I wait all the day.
R. To you, O Lord, I lift my soul.
Good and upright is the LORD;
thus he shows sinners the way.
He guides the humble to justice,
and teaches the humble his way.
R. To you, O Lord, I lift my soul.
All the paths of the LORD are kindness and constancy
toward those who keep his covenant and his decrees.
The friendship of the LORD is with those who fear him,
and his covenant, for their instruction.
R. To you, O Lord, I lift my soul.

Reading 2 1 Thes 3:12-4:2

Brothers and sisters: May the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, just as we have for you, so as to strengthen your hearts, to be blameless in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his holy ones. Amen.

Finally, brothers and sisters, we earnestly ask and exhort you in the Lord Jesus that, as you received from us how you should conduct yourselves to please God and as you are conducting yourselves you do so even more. For you know what instructions we gave you through the Lord Jesus.

Gospel Lk 21:25-28, 34-36

Jesus said to 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. People will die of fright in anticipation of what is coming upon the world, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. But when these signs begin to happen, stand erect and raise your heads because your redemption is at hand.

"Beware 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. For that day will assault everyone who lives on the face of the earth. 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."


Why is there Advent? What is the essence of the celebration of the season? There are a lot of questions from us, lalo na 'yong mga pilosopo. Ipinanganak na si Kristo, hihintayin na namang ipanganak, diba? We have already celebrated the birth of Jesus, so what is this Advent waiting about? That is exactly part of the answer. It has to do with Jesus's birth. Not physical birth anymore, but His birth in our hearts.

Advent also reminds us of our own forgetfulness. As the Gospel today tells us, our hearts sometimes get drowsy and lazy, tired out by the anxieties and stresses that we have in our life. Sometimes, we get so pre-occupied with our troubles, or perhaps get fascinated with many other things like gambling, shopping, or Facebook, e-mail, surfing the web, etc. 

Whatever reasons we have, the very message of Advent is simply for us to settle down. And hopefully, we can open the door of our hearts to let God come into our lives.

Our Liturgical celebration is so beautiful, especially the Advent readings we have for today. The First Reading reminds us of God's promise to His people - rightness, justice, security, peace in our day. These are beautiful things, lovely things that we can desire in our life and in our world. The Responsorial Psalm is also beautiful, as we are asking God to make known His ways to us, to guide us, to teach us. And we lift up our souls to God. In the Second Reading, God tells us to conduct ourselves properly and to live faithfully, to love others and to be loved. 

But then comes the Gospel that tries to wake us up, as it shows terrifying descriptions, scene by scene, of the end times. Will they happen? Maybe, maybe not. Maybe more worse things will happen. In fact, we can already judge by the things that are happening around us. There is disorder, there is war in some parts of the world. So many crimes happen in our country today. Heinous crimes. They are becoming bolder and bolder, and the perpetrators are getting younger and younger. The disorder is simply terrifying.

If amidst all these, we become afraid, we can go back to the Responsorial Psalm. As we celebrate the first Sunday of Advent, let us pray and ask God that Christ be given birth in our souls, and also in the souls and hearts of everyone in this world, as this is what we need so badly. 

Welcome to Advent, my dear brothers and sisters. May God bless us.

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