Theme of the Sunday: The Vigilant Wait: The Advent readings invite us to be vigilant, to be ready to receive the Lord who is coming. The first reading says God is “father” and “redeemer”. Nobody is so enslaved by sin that he cannot be freed and “redeemed”. Today’s gospel tells us that the “redeemer” comes, but we have to be vigilant. Those who sleep will remain slaves to sin, and will not be ransomed. The second reading is also on this theme: the Christians of Corinth are held up to us as examples of vigilance.
Entrance Antiphon Ps25:1-3
To you, I lift up my soul, O my God. In you, I have trusted; let me not be put to shame. Nor let my enemies exult over me; and let none who hope in you be put to shame.
Grant your faithful, we pray, almighty God, the resolve to run forth to meet your Christ with righteous deeds at his coming, so that, gathered at his right hand, they may be worthy to possess the heavenly kingdom. Through our Lord. .
”O that you would rend the heavens and come down.”
A reading from the Book of Isaiah (Isaiah 63:16d-17;64:13b-8)
You, O Lord, are our Father, our Redeemed from old is your name. O Lord, why do you make us err from your ways and harden our heart, so that we do not fear you? Return for the sake of your servants, the tribes of your heritage. O that you would tear the heavens and come down, that the mountains might quake at your presence! You came down, the mountains quaked at your presence. From of old no one has heard or perceived by the ear, no eye has seen a God besides you, who works for those who wait for him. You meet him that joyfully works righteousness, those that remember you in your ways. Behold, you were angry, and we sinned; in our sins we have been a long time, and shall we be saved? We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment. We all fade like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away. There is no one that calls upon your name, that bestirs himself to take hold of you; for you have hidden your face from us, and have delivered us into the hand of our iniquities. Yet, O LORD, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand.
The word of the Lord.
RESPONSORIAL PSALM Ps 80:2ac and 3b. 15-16a.18-19 (R. 4)
R/. O God, bring us back; Let your face shine on us, and we shall be shaved.
O shepherd of Israel, hear us,
enthroned on the cherubim, shine forth.
Rouse up your might and come to save us. R.
God of hosts, turn again, we implore;
look down from heaven and see.
Visit this vine and protect it,
The vine your right hand has planted. R.
May your hand be on the man at your right hand,
the son of man you have confirmed as your own.
And we shall never forsake you again;
Give us life that we may call upon your name. R.
We wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ.
A reading from the first Letter of Saint Paul to the Corinthians (1 Corinthians1:3-9)
Brethren: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. I give thanks to God always for you because of the grace of God which was given you in Christ Jesus, that in every way you were enriched in him with all speech and all knowledge—even as the testimony to Christ was confirmed among you—so that you are not lacking in any spiritual gift, as you wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ; who will sustain you to the end, guiltless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
The word of the Lord.
ALLELUIA Psalm 85:7
Alleluia. Let us see, O Lord, your mercy and grant us your salvation. Alleluia.
“Watch therefore—for you do not know when the master of the house will come.”
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Mark (Mark 13:33-37)
At that time: Jesus said to his disciples: “Take heed, watch and pray; for you do not know when the time will come. It is like a man going on a journey, when he leaves home and puts his servants in charge, each with his work, and commands the door keeper to be on the watch. Watch therefore — for you do not know when the master of the house will come, in the evening, or at midnight, or at cockcrow, or in the morning—lest he come suddenly and find you asleep. And what I say to you I say to all: Watch.”
The Gospel of the Lord.
The season of Advent is a period of preparation for the birth of the Messiah. It has four Sundays. The new liturgical year begins in the church. We are called to prepare for the coming of the Lord. It is certain that the Lord is coming but the day or the hour is not known.
In the gospel passage of today, Christ tells us to be watchful and alert. We are to stay awake and watch for his coming. We should live in such a way that when he comes, he should not find us wanting. He should find us doing what he commanded us to be doing: loving God and loving one another; living holy/ righteous lives. May he meet us doing our Christian duty when he comes. May he meet us ready to welcome him whenever he comes, since he will come “like a thief in the night”.