First Sunday of Advent

Readings

IS 2:1-5

ROM 13:11-14

MT 24:37-44

Reflection 

Now that Thanksgiving is over, our Christmas preparations begin to consume our lives.  There is so much to do, just a few weeks in which to do it all, and therefore we stagger about like sleepwalkers falling in line with our society’s routine bedlam of the ‘holiday’ season.  However, Advent, the start of a new liturgical year, “is the hour now for you to awake from sleep,” as Paul writes to the Romans (Rom 13:11), and to “stay awake”, as Jesus tells his disciples (Mt 24:42).  If our lives are likened to a journey, then Advent is a good time to reset our trip odometers and recalibrate our GPS, that is, our God Positioning Systems.  It is a time to assess our spiritual well-being, especially the well-being of our relationships, and to make adjustments to our routes on this earthly journey.

Christmas reminds us that God as Jesus humbly took on human nature to be one with us and to be in a direct loving relationship with us.  This wondrous gift of God’s love, Divinity among us in the form of a vulnerable, defenseless, and dependent baby, models the necessity and centrality of relationships for all humanity.  The Advent season is a reminder to get ourselves back in right relationship with God and with others, especially with family members or friends.  It is a time not only for preparing but also for ‘re-pairing’, that is, repairing those relationships that have become distant or even hostile over time. 

Initiating this relationship repair process requires us to be courageous as well as humble and vulnerable, just as Jesus was in his humanity.  In his ministry among us Jesus showed us how to be compassionate, merciful, and forgiving especially to those who were marginalized and outcast from any relationships with society.  May we always look to the Incarnate One for the grace we need to respond courageously to our baptismal call to share God’s love and mercy especially in challenging situations.  May we be moved to carry the Light of Christ that is within us to all we encounter on our earthly journey.   

Peace and all good to you and your loved ones during this Advent season. 

Sr. Kathy Flood, OSF
Director of Student Services and Spiritual Formation
Franciscan School of Theology