(Image of the Advent wreath is from ImageVine/courtesy of www.imagevine.com. All rights reserved.)
FIRST SUNDAY of ADVENT
(Jer 33: 14-16; I Th 3: 12– 4:2; Lk 21: 25-28, 34-36)
Advent expresses in symbol and ritual three phases in our Christian journey of faith: Christ has come, Christ will come again, and Christ is present now! We reflect upon the first; we look to the second; we live the third daily. All three shape who we are as individuals. With these scripture texts, Advent begins with warnings about taking stock of our lives so that we may be “blameless in holiness.” Those who are faithful will be able to face any danger and welcome Christ’s coming. There are three poems that come to mind as I reflect upon these scripture readings (see Monday, Week 1, Friday, Week 2, and January 1.) For me, these poems imagine the different ways we cope or respond to that moment.
In this winter season, the earth seems to be dying. Advent begins at this time and the poems and readings provide a way for us to reflect communally on the Word of God that speaks to us of the end times. In what ways have I prepared for the end of my world when I am called? What are some of the ways I can prepare to meet the Lord at crib or cross with a good conscience? With the disasters our nation has experienced since to change our ways of looking at reality. As TOR Franciscans, Advent is our season with its call for conversion, a fresh turning to God. Let us not be intoxicated by society’s commercial attractions. Rather, read and reflect upon these poems with your heart's eye so you can see Christ however He comes---whether through friend or stranger each day. How have you prepared for the Lord’s coming?
– Bro. Didacus Wilson, T.O.R.
(Originally printed in According to Your Word - Reflections for the Advent & Christmas Seasons;