Week of November 27, 2016

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We begin this journey through the season of Advent.  The scripture readings today direct our gaze to the ultimate and immediate realities of our lives.  In today’s Gospel Jesus says, “Stay awake!  At an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come.

We are invited to focus on the end, not to emphasize our vulnerability but to remember where we are going.  That is what Isaiah is trying to teach his people as he paints a picture of life as it is meant to be.  Isaiah addressed a people who had lost faith because they had lost their prosperity.  Isaiah tried to teach them that prosperity based on injustice has nothing to do with God.  With words as majestic as any music Handel ever composed, Isaiah painted a vision of Jerusalem as God’s capital city where all nations would come to worship and learn to live in peace.

Paul echoed Isaiah’s last idea with his wake-up call to the Romans.  At a time when Christians were expecting the triumphant return of Christ at any moment, Paul tried to help them keep their balance between their daily life and what was to come.  That is the essential tension of the Christian life:  to appreciate the moment for all that it is worth in the light of the coming of the Kingdom of God.

Advent calls us to remember what we so often repeat in our Eucharistic celebration, “Christ will come again.”  That means that creation is genuinely headed toward fulfillment.  It means that Isaiah’s vision of the peace of converting weapons into farming tools, road-building machines and construction materials is not only possible, but that God is offering us a strategic plan for its accomplishment.  Paul calls us to wake up to that reality.  Jesus tells us to be attentive to the possibilities in every moment.

What we know for sure is that God’s future will happen and will come about in unexpected ways.  The invitation of Advent is to remember our future so that it can transform our present.  (Taken from Mary M. McGlone’s reflection in Celebration)

During Advent I hope you will take time:

  • Take time to reflect:
    • Bishop Johnston will be here next Sunday, December 4th, at 7:00 p.m. to share a reflection with us.
    • The Little Blue Books are available.  They give a short daily reflection that can enrich this season of Advent.
  • Take time to pray:
    • Monday, Wednesday and Friday we have mass in the Daily Chapel at 8:00 a.m.
    • Wednesday, December 14th, at 7:00 p.m. we will have our Reconcilia tion Service.
  • Take time to help others:
    • There are tags on the giving trees in the Narthex.  You can buy a gift for a child who would otherwise go without this Christmas.
    • You can adopt a family this season.
  • Take time to see God in those around you.
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