|Image: Peter Adams|
We find ourselves on the eve of the First Sunday of Advent in the Year of Grace 2014!
The scriptures for this weekend and commentary on them can be found here. Bringing youngsters to Mass with you on Sunday? Look here for tips on helping them prepare to hear the Lord's Word as Advent begins.
We begin a year of readings from the gospel of Matthew and this first installment reminds us that Advent is about much more than "getting ready for Christmas" -- it's about getting ready for forever! The day's gospel proclamation ends with Jesus' words, "So too, you also must be prepared, for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come."
The day's first scripture gives us Isaiah's vision of all peoples streaming to the Lord's mountain and includes the well known image of the peace we all long for: "They shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks; one nation shall not raise the sword against another, nor shall they train for war again."
It's the second lesson, however, from Romans that gets particular about what we need to avoid in preparing for the coming of the Son of Man: "orgies and drunkenness, promiscuity and lust, and rivalry and jealousy." Indeed, warns St. Paul, we are to "make no provision for the desires of the flesh." Now isn't that interesting advice in the season of all seasons for consumerism!
A new liturgical year is beginning - time for resolutions! Therefore: "I resolve to take time each week to read and pray over the scriptures for the coming Sunday to prepare myself to worship on the Lord's Day!"
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