1st Sunday of Advent (B)
“Be watchful! You do not know when the lord of the house is coming.”
Entrance Antiphon: Ps 25(24):1-3 – “To You, I lift up my soul, O my God. In You, I have trusted; let me not be put to shame. Nor let my enemies exult over me; and let none who hope in You be put to shame.”
First Reading: Is 63:16b-17, 19b; 64:2-7 – “Oh, that You would rend the heavens and come down!”
Responsorial Psalm: Ps 80:2-3, 15-16, 18-19 – “Lord, make us turn to You; let us see Your face and we shall be saved.”
Second Reading: 1 Cor 1:3-9 – “We wait for the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Alleluia: Ps 85:8 – “Alleluia, alleluia. Show us, Lord, Your love; and grant us Your salvation. Alleluia, alleluia.”
Gospel: Mk 13:33-37 – “Be watchful! You do not know when the lord of the house is coming.”
Communion Antiphon: Ps 85(84):13 – “The Lord will bestow His bounty, and our earth shall yield its increase.
Happy New Church Year and Happy Advent! For many weeks ... even months already, our world has surrounded us with reminders that Christmas is coming ... especially as COVID-19 has kept us close to home. Today, however, in the Church calendar, our Advent journey truly begins to remind us of the true meaning of the season ... the Christ-child is coming.
There was an interesting journey about 200 years ago in the United States when President Thomas Jefferson sent the now-famous Meriwether Lewis and William Clark on a journey of discovery. They were to look for a shortcut: a route to the riches of the Orient. After months and months of rugged, dangerous travels, they came to the Rocky Mountains. Happily, they believed that the passage they sought would be just beyond this mountain. They reached the top, and what did they see? Miles and miles of additional mountains to cross! To say they were disappointed would be an understatement. But they were ready and prepared to go on. It would be many more hard weeks until they saw a far-reaching body of water that prompted Clark was to write in his journal. “O, the joy!”
Advent and adventure come from the same root word: “to come to” or “to come toward.” They refer equally to the journey and the arrival. Take a moment to pause and think ... just what did Lewis and Clark need to complete their journey? And how are many of their requirements similar to ours for our Advent journey?
Today’s Gospel is about our Christian journey. Its message is: Be ready, be watchful, be attentive all along the way. What will we need?