Thursday, 25 November 2021 09:52

Stay awake! Your liberation is near

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Advent1CWeb400Jesus said to his disciples: ‘There will be signs in the sun and moon and stars; on earth nations in agony, bewildered by the clamour of the ocean and its waves; men dying of fear as they await what menaces the world, for the powers of heaven will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. When these things begin to take place, stand erect, hold your heads high, because your liberation is near at hand.’

‘Watch yourselves, or your hearts will be coarsened with debauchery and drunkenness and the cares of life, and that day will be sprung on you suddenly, like a trap. For it will come down on every living man on the face of the earth. Stay awake, praying at all times for the strength to survive all that is going to happen, and to stand with confidence before the Son of Man.’ (Luke 21:25-28, 34-36)

The great Advent journey begins. The Advent readings are a rich tapestry of images centered on the truth that God has come among us. We do not pretend that we are waiting for Jesus to be born in a stable. That happened once, a long time ago, and it will not happen again. We remember that birth as we remember our own birthdays.

The God who came among us is still among us. Advent’s invitation is to become aware of the all-pervading presence of the risen Jesus as Emmanuel – God among us.

In the first reading this Sunday Jeremiah looks forward to the coming of one who will save God’s people, one who acts with honesty and integrity. In the second reading St Paul encourages the people of Thessalonica in their following of Christ. He prays that their love will grow and that their hearts will be ‘confirmed in holiness’. The early Christians believed that Jesus would return very soon as the Lord of Glory.

As time passed, they had to re-think this belief and work out how to live in the meantime, the time in between the first and final comings of Christ. That’s our challenge, too.

Today’s Gospel from St Luke warns Christians not to be distracted by the cares and snares of the world, but to be ready to stand confidently before the Son of Man when he comes. Remaining constant in love and attentive to our calling we become the living presence of Jesus until he comes again.

Download our Celebrating At Home Liturgy for this Sunday.

pdf Celebrating At Home 1st Sunday of Advent [PDF] (3.29 MB)                                  
default Celebrating At Home 1st Sunday of Advent [ePub] (5.98 MB)


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