Theme of the Sunday: Be Vigilant!
All three readings for this Sunday focus on vigilance, not as an agonising wait for the Lord Judge at the end of our lives, but as awareness to the presence of the Lord today. The first reading tells us of the new world that will begin with the coming of the Lord. The Gospel urges us to be vigilant so that we may welcome him at his “advent.” The second reading invites us to open our eyes to discern the signs of the new day which has already dawned.
A reading from the Book of Isaiah (Isaiah 2:1-5)
The Lord will gather all nations in the eternal peace of the Kingdom of God.
The word which Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem. It shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the house of the Lord shall be established as the highest of the mountains, and shall be raised above the hills; and all the nations shall flow to it, and many peoples shall come, and say: “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; that he may teach us his ways and that we may walk in his paths. For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. He shall judge between the nations, and shall decide for many peoples; and they shall beat their swords into plough shares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. O house of Jacob, come, let us walk in the light of the Lord.
The word of the Lord.
RESPONSORIAL PSALM (Psalm 122:1-2.4-5.5-7.8-9)
R/. We shall go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.
I rejoiced when they said to me,
“Let us go to the house of the Lord.”
And now our feet are standing
within your gates, O Jerusalem. R/.
It is there that the tribes go up,
the tribes of the Lord.
For Israel’s witness it is
to praise the name of the Lord.
There were set the thrones for judgement,
the thrones of the house of David. R/.
For the peace of Jerusalem pray,
“May they prosper, those who love you.”
May peace abide in your walls,
and security be in your towers. R/.
For the sake of my family and friends,
let me say, “Peace upon you.”
For the sake of the house of the Lord, our God,
I will seek good things for you. R/.
A reading from the Letter of Saint Paul to the Romans ( Romans 13:11-14a)
“Salvation is nearer to us now.
Brethren: You know what hour it is, how it is full time now for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed; the night is far gone, the day is at hand. Let us then cast off the works of darkness and put on the armour of light; let us conduct ourselves becomingly as in the day, not in revelling and drunkenness, not in debauchery and licentiousness, not in quarrelling and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh.
The word of the Lord
ALLELUIA (Psalm 55:5)
Alleluia. Let us see, O Lord, your mercy, and grant us your salvation. Alleluia.
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew (Matthew 24:37-44)
Watch therefore, you must be ready
At that time: Jesus said to his disciples, “As were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of man. For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, and they did not know until the flood came and swept them all away, so will be the coming of the Son of man. Then two men will be in the field; one is taken and one is left. Two women will be grinding at the mill; one is taken and one is left. Watch therefore, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming. But know this, that if the householder had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have watched and would not have let his house be broken into. Therefore you also must be ready; for the Son of man is coming at an hour you do not expect.”
The Gospel of the Lord.
We often hear about the calendar year, the fiscal year and the academic year. Today our interest is in the liturgical year. It starts from the 1st Sunday of Advent, which is today. Consequently, I wish you a happy new liturgical year!
From today’s readings mother church offers us sources for our liturgical New Year resolutions. The Gospel tells us to stay awake always. It means to be watchful. Watchful over what? The answer to this question brings us to our second resolution, which comes from the second reading of today. We resolve to avoid evil. In order to succeed in it, we make our third resolution coming from today’s Gospel, which is to always walk in the light of Christ.