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Sunday, November 29, 2020

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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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waiting and watching

“What I say to you, I say to all: Be on guard!” ––Mark 13:37

Welcome to Advent. Christmas is near! Advent is a time of preparation for the coming of the Lord. We begin a new liturgical year with anticipation and hope. This sounds encouraging, but “we are sinful; all of us have become like unclean men, all our good deeds are like polluted rags” (Is 64:4-5). It hurts to look in the mirror!

Fortunately, God refuses to abandon His wounded children. “Yet, O Lord, You are our Father; we are the clay and You the potter: we are all the work of Your hands” (Is 64:7). If we are repentant and open to His grace, interior renovation follows. In this reconstruction project, we also have heavenly helpers. St. Paul prays, “I continually thank my God for you because of the favor He has bestowed on you in Christ Jesus” (1 Cor 1:4).

Therefore, our duty isn’t to agonize over sin or become self-loathing. Rather, God directs us to focus on our “own task” (Mk 13:34). This allows us to take a deep breath and fulfill our unique role — and stop trying to be something we are not. The Body of Christ functions best when each member exercises his or her own God-given gifts. We then allow the Holy Spirit to mold us into virtuous disciples.

Now we’re better prepared for Christ’s coming: both His coming as a Babe in Bethlehem and His return at the end of time. “Be constantly on the watch! Stay awake! You do not know when the appointed time will come” (Mk 13:33).

Prayer:  Father, make Advent my season of transformation.

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:  “The One Who gives this testimony says, ‘Yes, I am coming soon!’ Amen! Come, Lord Jesus!” (Rv 22:20)

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

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