First Sunday of Advent
Psalm 25:4-5, 8-9, 10,14
I Thessalonians 3:12-4:2
Luke 21:25-28, 34-36
Jesus, the Incarnation of Divine Love, is coming! The scriptures today urge
us to be vigilant, to trust in the Lord, and to turn our hearts towards justice
and mercy. In this way, we can prepare ourselves to receive the extraordi-
nary gift which is God’s Son come amongst us in human form. God’s gift is
a child born into the most humble of circumstances, who will grow into the
man that teaches us how to love one another and to love God, and who will
die out of love for us so that we may joined with God for all eternity.
Advent is a time of renewal and reflection. It’s a liturgical moment during
which we are called to retreat inwards, to pray and contemplate on the mira-
cle of the Incarnation in the person of the Baby Jesus. As a Church, we
have known this reality for over 2000 years. As people of faith, most of us
have known this reality all our lives. How do we make fresh and renew our
understanding and, even more importantly, our embrace of the Incarnation?
What does the birth of Jesus mean to us?
For the Franciscans, the Incarnation is already the Redemption. In the words
of the Franciscan Richard Rohr: “...in Jesus’ birth, God was already saying
that it was good to be human and that God was on our side.”
Think about what that means for a moment. Isn’t that an extraordinary mes-
sage of joy and hope? God is on our side and he has sent us his Son to bring
us closer to him by modeling how to be loving, just, compassionate and mer-
ciful in our interactions with one another and with the world around us.
God is on our side and he has sent his Son to
ensure that we will be spend eternity in the
embrace of his love. What more beautiful gift
could there possibly be?
Advent, this season of preparation for the
coming of Jesus, is a time to reflect on how