First Sunday of Advent
December 2, 2018
How good are you at waiting? Hello, I’m Franciscan Father Greg Friedman with the Sunday Soundbite for the First Sunday of Advent.
I once worked with a secretary who could not wait patiently for a birthday or Christmas. She wanted to know what gifts she might receive, and didn’t really care about being surprised. “Tell me what you’re getting me,” she’d joke as the holidays approached.
The Advent season might make such people a bit impatient. It’s all about waiting—waiting for the coming feast of Christmas, and waiting for the glorious coming of Christ at the end of time.
On this first Advent weekend we hear about that second coming. The events which Jesus predicts before the end are terrifying—enough to make anyone want to put off those final days as long as possible. But he urges his disciples to be vigilant and pray. He wants us not to be surprised, but rather fully awake and aware.
The Lord’s advice, coupled with Paul’s words to his mission church–the Thessalonians–in the second reading, can apply to us in the twenty-first century as well. If the final revelation of the Kingdom demands our vigilance, so does the day-to-day unfolding of that same reality: God is at work all around us. The prophecy of Jeremiah in the first reading promises a reign of justice. The Lord wants to invite each of us to participate, and to act in harmony with that wonderful promise.