Online Prayer Book - page 4

First Sunday of Advent
Isaiah 2:1-5
Psalm 122:1-2, 3-4, 4-5, 6-7, 8-9
Romans 13:11-14
Matthew 24:37-44
I will say, 'Peace be within you!¯
Because of the house of the LORD, our God,
I will pray for your good.
Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.
As we celebrate the new liturgical year with Advent, the Psalmist reminds us that it is a time of
peace, prayer, and rejoicing as members of Christ?s Body, the Church. As Catholics, it is a time
of faithful reflection, preparation, and expectation:
'The season of Advent has a twofold character:
It is a time of preparation for Christmas when the first coming of God?s Son?is recalled.
It is also a season when minds are directed by this memorial to Christ?s second coming at the
end of time.
It is thus a season of joyful and spiritual expectation.¯
(General Norms for the Liturgical Year and the Calendar)
The Advent season is a time of preparation that directs our hearts and minds to Christ?s second
coming at the end of time and also to the anniversary of the Lord?s birth on Christmas. However,
the season of Advent is often overshadowed by the 'holiday shopping season¯ or 'black Friday
specials¯, and we may move too quickly into secularly celebrating Christmas. By the time the So-
lemnity of Christmas arrives, and many of us are burned out?we are exhausted of all the
'Christmas hype.¯ Sadly, Christmas has become anticlimactic. Today?s readings seek to bring us
back to the real 'reason for the season.¯
The prophet Isaiah reminds us that as we wait for the second coming of Christ, we are to '
the LORD?s mountain¯. Imagine the exertion of physical, psychological, and emotional
it must take to climb Mount Everest. Very few accomplish this feat, some die in the process, and
others, as they get closer to reaching and seeing the top of the peak?are filled with the
of what they are about to see and feel. Now?close your eyes and imagine being at the top of
the LORD?s mountain and the arrival of Christ?listen to
your heart, what do you feel? Silence your thoughts?do
you hear the LORD?s voice? What do your eyes see??
Now?open your eyes and ask yourself, 'Am I faithfully
preparing and expecting Christ? arrival and am I walking in
his paths¯?
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