1st Sunday of Advent (c)
Sunday 2nd December: The 1st Sunday of Advent (c).
Advent begins today. During these days, we look forward, waiting in hope. We focus on the coming of a person – Jesus, Saviour of the world, the One who has come, is still coming to us and is to come in the future as the Lord of glory. Advent is a time of waiting, conversion and hope. We watch for the end times, when Christ will come in glory, Christ who was born for us just a little over 2000 years ago.
The first reading is from a part of the Book of Jeremiah known as the Book of Consolation. In a time of war and bitterness, the prophet consoles the people with the promise of better times, a day when a son of David will bring salvation. Christians see this fulfilled in Jesus.
St. Paul offers a word of encouragement with a prayer that his early converts remain faithful and faith-filled and so be prepared for the second coming of Christ.
In the Gospel, Jesus warns his followers to be vigilant. The followers of Jesus should be preparing for the second coming of Christ with confidence, vigilance and prayer.
Monday 3rd December: Memorial of St. Francis Xavier.
He was born in Spain, joined the Jesuits and spent every moment of his life trying to convert people to Christ. He was one of seven Jesuit priests sent to India in the 16th century by St. Ignatius. He worked as a missionary in Goa and Japan. He died as he attempted to enter China in 1552 at the age of 46. He is Patron Saint of the Missions.
Tuesday 4th December: Tuesday of the 1st week of Advent.
Isaiah foretells that one will come from God who will have the spirit of wisdom, insight counsel, power, knowledge and fear of the Lord. He will be a man of great integrity who will bring peace.
In the Gospel, Jesus reminds the people that the prophets longeed for the opportunity that they are being given Too the Messiah, to hear him and bring his message to the world that is what the people of Israel have been waiting for and now, in the person of Jesus, the time of waiting is over.
Wednesday 5th December: Wednesday of the 1st week of Advent.
For Isaiah, the sign of messianic times is that through the Messiah, God will give to his people an abundance of food and drink. The symbolism of the great banquet is used to portray eternal happiness and the blessings which will be part of God’s kingdom. Death will be destroyed forever and every tear will be wiped from every cheek.
Jesus foreshadows the land of plenty when he heals the many sick and feeds the multitude in the desert.
Thursday 6th December: Thursday of the 1st week of Advent.
Again Isaiah praises the great peace the messiah will bring. He stresses that those who trusted in him will be saved
Jesus reminds us that it is important not just to listen to his words but to put them in to action and cary them out The image of the rock is used, echoing the Isaiah reading.
Friday 7th December: Memorial of St. Ambrose.
He was born of a Roman Christian family around 339 when his father was an official in Gaul. He moved back to Rome and became a lawyer and eventually a consul in the region of Milan. He was named bishop by popular acclamation even though he was still a catechumen. Eight days later he was baptised and, after receiving further instruction, was ordained a Bishop He frequently had to defend the rights and freedom of the Church sometimes even against the emperor. A favourite saying of his was that ‘the emperor is in the church, not over it.’ He was known as ‘an apostle of charity, a reformer of the liturgy a director of souls.’ He died on this date in 397.
Saturday 8th December: Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception.
Today’s feast celebrates the perfect holiness of Our Lady. It affirms the church’s belief and teaching that Our Lady, from the very moment of her conception, was preserved free from all stain of original sin. In this way, she was prepared for her unique role in the work of redemption. Pope Pius IX instituted the feast when he defined the dogman of the Immaculate Conception on 8th December 1854.
you come forth from the most high,
You fill the universe and hold all things together
In a strong and gentle manner.
To teach us the way of truth.