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Sunday, December 3, 2017

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First Sunday of Advent

Isaiah 63:16-17, 19; 64:2-7
1 Corinthians 1:3-9
Psalm 80:2-3, 15-16, 18-19
Mark 13:33-37

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exchanging wills

"Why do You let us wander, O Lord, from Your ways, and harden our hearts so that we fear You not?" —Isaiah 63:17

The author of today's passage from the book of the prophet Isaiah laments to the Lord that his fellow Israelites are so prone to turning their backs to God. This causes the prophet to beg God to return to His people. This prophet has the true spirit of Advent: He is waiting for the coming of the Lord with a heart that longs to make changes so that God's will would be done on earth as it is in heaven.

We humans were born with a rebellious nature and a stubborn, selfish will. However, we are not doomed to rebellion against the Lord. In this season in which the world exchanges gifts, God offers us the greatest possible gift exchange. He lets us exchange our will for His. He gives us His perfect will; we give Him our selfish, unwatchful will.

In these days of Advent, ask the Lord to conform your will to His (Rm 12:2). Let this be your Advent prayer: " 'Not my will but Yours be done' (Lk 22:42). 'Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven' (Mt 6:10). 'Be it done to me according to Your will' (see Lk 1:38). 'To do Your will, O my God, is my delight' " (Ps 40:9).

Prayer:  "Lord, make us turn to You; let us see Your face and we shall be saved" (today's psalm response from Mass).

Promise:  "He will strengthen you to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus [Christ]." —1 Cor 1:8

Praise:  Praise You, risen Jesus, Emmanuel, "God with us!" You became flesh and dwelt among us. Praise You for letting us see Your glory (Jn 1:14).

Reference:  (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, March 3, 2017

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