FIRST SUNDAY OF ADVENT: IN EXPECTATION OF OUR LORDView The Catholic Company's entire selection of Advent Prayer Books here.
TODAY'S GOSPELJesus said to his disciples: “There will be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars, and on earth nations will be in dismay, perplexed by the roaring of the sea and the waves. People will die of fright in anticipation of what is coming upon the world, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. But when these signs begin to happen, stand erect and raise your heads because your redemption is at hand.
“Beware that your hearts do not become drowsy from carousing and drunkenness and the anxieties of daily life, and that day catch you by surprise like a trap. For that day will assault everyone who lives on the face of the earth. Be vigilant at all times and pray that you have the strength to escape the tribulations that are imminent and to stand before the Son of Man.' (Lk. 21:25-28, 34-36)
"O holy Abba God, we are an expectant people, always rushing to accomplish things, only to experience time slipping through our fingers. We expect things to improve, hoping that somehow we will not always put you, and our relationship with you, on the back burner of our lives. For this reason, we pause for a moment in prayer. Be with us during this season of Advent. Help us to come to an appreciation of "holy waiting."
As once your people long ago waited for their Savior to be born, help us to enter into the spirit of celebrating the growing awareness of your Word in our lives. Let the power of your Word not be buried or forgotten because of the press of our other obligations." Amen.
~ from The Essential Advent and Christmas Handbook
REFLECTION"Let us understand the whole power of these words: to be children of the promise is to be the children promised to Abraham…We are, then, the race that he has made in a particular manner: children of the promise, children of grace, children of the benediction, a new and special people that God has created to serve him.
We are not merely to bear his name, but to be a true people, agreeable to God, zealous in good works, and, as children of mercy, chosen and beloved, loving God with all our hearts and our neighbors as ourselves, and extending our love to all nations and all peoples, as to those who are, like us, heirs to his promise. There are the riches hidden in these few words: ‘In you and in one of your race all the nations of the earth shall be blessed.’"
~ from Meditations For Advent
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This article has been updated and was originally published in December 2012.