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Advent Reflection: First Sunday

Once again we begin the Holy Season of Advent. During this season we prepare for the three comings of Christ. The first coming took place more than 2000 years ago when The Christ, in the person of Jesus of Nazareth, entered into human history. The second is the coming of Christ daily into our hearts and lives. The Lasallian Tradition of Live Jesus in our hearts…forever remind of this. And the third is the final coming of Christ when the Kingdom of God is fully experienced by humanity.

The Church proposes a series of daily and Sunday readings that speak to the deepest desires and longings of the human heart and of humanity: the longing for peace, love, meaning, divine direction and community.

Jeremiah 33:14-16

The days are coming, says the LORD, when I will fulfill the promise I made to the house of Israel and Judah. In those days, in that time, I will raise up for David a just shoot ; he shall do what is right and just in the land. In those days Judah shall be safe and Jerusalem shall dwell secure; this is what they shall call her: “The LORD our justice.”

The First Reading from the Prophet Jeremiah captures the profound human hope that God is faithful and never fails. I will raise up for David a just shoot ; he shall do what is right and just in the land. (Jeremiah 15) We live in a world that disappoints: our elected leaders and at times, our Church, do not provide the meaningful leadership we long for. We often feel abandoned, but God continues to prepare and inspire men and women to selflessly serve the spiritual and materials needs of humanity, giving us hope and direction.

Luke 21:25-28, 34-36

Jesus 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.”

In the Gospel, Jesus tells us to not be afraid. When we see and hear of the many troubling developments in our world, it is not a sign of the end or of the wrath of God but of the coming fullness of salvation. But when these signs begin to happen, stand erect and raise your heads because your redemption is at hand. (Luke 21, 28) Jesus teaches us that God is not about destroying but transform- ing our world into a living image of the divine (Kingdom of God).

As disciples of Jesus we are called to collaborate with God in this divine work of transformation.

Live Jesus in our hearts.

Brother Steven Vasoli, FSC

Download a PDF of this reflection.

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