First Sunday of Advent Reflection by the Apostles of the Resurrection

November 27, 2020

Apostles of the Resurrection Advent

Christmas Reflections 2020

Readings for First Sunday of Advent

Isaiah 63:16b-17; 64:1, 3-8
Psalm 80:1ab+2, 14-15, 17-18
1 Corinthians 1:3-9

Mark 13:31-37

Isaiah 63:16b-17; 64:1, 3-8

Psalm 80:1ab+2, 14-15, 17-18
 

1 Corinthians 1:3-9

3Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the LORD Jesus Christ. 4I always thank my God for you because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus. 5For in him you have been enriched in every way-with all kinds of speech and with all knowledge- 6God thus confirming our testimony about Christ among you. 7Therefore you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for our LORD Jesus Christ to be revealed. 8He will also keep you firm to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our LORD Jesus Christ. 9God is faithful, who has called you into fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our LORD.

Mark 13:31-37

31Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away. 32"But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. 33Be on guard! Be alert! You do not know when that time will come. 34It's like a man going away: He leaves his house and puts his servants in charge, each with their assigned task, and tells the one at the door to keep watch. 35"Therefore keep watch because you do not know when the owner of the house will come back-whether in the evening, or at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or at dawn. 36If he comes suddenly, do not let him find you sleeping. 37What I say to you, I say to everyone: 'Watch!'"

The gospel of the Lord.

Reflection

Advent is a time of waiting and preparing for the coming of the Prince of Peace.  “Advent” comes from the Latin work adventus, which means “coming”.  It is during this time of year I remember the excitement that is felt in our schools as they rehearse the song, Take a walk to Christmas.  Each week we gather around our wreaths to light a candle and prepare.

Let’s reflect on the shape, the number and colour of our wreath.  The circular shape of the wreath, reminds us that there is no beginning or end, God’s love is unending and complete.  The number of 4 candles, each candle representing 1000 years.  This is time we waited for the Prince of Peace. The colour of candles: violet suggesting a time of prayer, penance and sacrifice.  These are the first 2 candles that are lit.  The pink candle is the 3rd week of advent is the colour for joy and then finally another purple candle to complete our circle.

The first Sunday of Advent, the lighting of the candle of hope.

Hope is something we have been struggling with during the pandemic.  Hope to see our families, our friends, to avoid covid-19 and hope for a vaccine to ensure our safety.  As we travel with masks, wash our hands and social distance this word Hope has so many meanings for all of us.  We know God is with us and hope we are able to endure the isolation many of us may be feeling from the world before covid-19.

In the Gospel of Mark, we are told to keep watch, to be alert and be on guard.  Even though this Christmas may be different for many of us, let us be filled with hope, joy and gratitude to be celebrating this time of the year.  May we all be blessed with good health, continued patience, inner peace and the spirit of joy for all those we live with and whom we serve.                        

Questions

In this Advent season, let us reflect, pray and ask ourselves:

  1. How are you preparing for Christmas?
  2. What will you do to ensure that you will spend Advent focused on the God despite the busyness of this season?
  3. How do you stay positive and what brings you Hope at this time of year?  Where do you see Hope in this pandemic?
  4. What have you done, professionally or personally, during the past week that will help you promote the reign of God?  Be alert to what more you can do as you go about your life this week?

    5. During the course of the day, make a small “pilgrimage” to a place that is sacred in your life.  While there take a few moments to remember all those people who journey with you.

A Prayer for the First Sunday of Advent

Father, let your hope arise in our hearts! Lift our eyes up to see that you alone are where our hope comes from. Help us to shake off the anxiety, discouragements, and distractions that have filled this year.

May we pause to remember that we have hope in you.

You know the end of our stories, and we give thanks because you have promised that it will be a victorious ending. Give us the grace we need to wrap up this year joyfully.

We invite your Spirit into this beautiful Advent season. Renew our sense of holy anticipation! Let us be those who are waiting eagerly for Jesus to come again.

More than anything, we ask that you be glorified in this season of expectation. Amen.