SUNDAY HOMILY | Be vigilant at all times and pray – Luke 21:36a

*1st Sunday of Advent, Year C, 2021



READINGS: 1st reading. Jeremiah 33:14-16. Psalm 25. 2nd reading. 1 Thes 3:12-4:2. Gospel. Lk 21:25-28, 34-36

Today being the first Sunday of Advent, we  begin the Advent season. It is also the beginning of the Church’s new liturgical year C. The word “Adventus in Latin” means “coming”.

The readings today is about preparedness for the coming  the Lord. As Advent begins, reflect upon how ready you are for Jesus’ coming. Are you preparing for it with the same fervour that you prepare for Christmas through shopping, cooking, decorating, etc.?  Are you looking forward to that day when He will return?  Are you preparing for the spiritual celebration of His birth?  Are you awake and attentive to the numerous ways that God speaks to you on a daily basis?

First Reading: The first reading  from Jeremiah 33:14-16 points out the first coming of Christ. It tells us that the Messiah will be a descendant of the stock of David and his reign will be marked by wisdom, justice and integrity.

In the second reading, Paul prays that the Lord may deepen the love Thessalonians have for each other and thereby get prepared for the second coming of the Lord.

Gospel: Be vigilant at all times and pray.” Luke 21:36a

Advent begins with a call to vigilance as reflected in the passage above.  There are numerous Scripture passages that call us to this vigilance and anticipation of the Lord’s coming. Being vigilant means, also, that we are prepared as Jeremiah and Paul have mentioned above. It means  we are not caught off guard. Imagine if Christmas morning came and you woke up suddenly realizing that you forgot to prepare! Imagine if you had no gifts, no food purchased and no plans were made. Of course you wouldn’t allow that to happen, but we do sometimes allow it to happen spiritually speaking.

We often are not prepared to celebrate the birth of Christ within our hearts.

We as Christians believe that  Jesus will return again, in all splendor and glory, to judge the living and the dead.  We profess that fact every Sunday in our Creed. So, even though Advent is a time for the preparation of the celebration of the first coming of Jesus in the flesh, it is also a time to acknowledge that His first coming is ultimately fulfilled in His final glorious coming.

If you find that you are not as prepared for His return in glory as you’d like to be, make this Advent a time when you get your heart ready.  Commit to prayer, spiritual exercises, reflection and attentiveness to His gentle and glorious voice.

Lord, as Advent begins, help me to put my eyes on You.  Help me to open my ears to Your voice.  And help me to open my heart to Your glorious presence.  May I be attentive to You in every way You desire to come to me. Jesus, I trust in You.

May Almighty God bless us and protect us from all evil through Christ our Lord Amen.

Have a wonderful and blessed Sunday.

REV. FR. DR. AMBROSE ANENE SDB is Parish Priest, Church of the Archangels, Gaduwa Estate, Abuja Archdiocese

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