Mission Society of the Philippines



Lk 21:25-28; 34-36

IT IS INDEED true that modern technologies have become useful to people’s lives. For instance, the news channels provide us weather forecasts in the next few days which make us prepare for any eventuality. In addition, some affluent countries have an efficient transportation system that can determine the precise arrival of trains and buses to a certain station. Just look at the screen or monitor, and there you have the information. These are some of the advantages that we find in the present world.

Today is the First Sunday of Advent and in this liturgical season, we recall the First Coming of God into our midst. We remember that moment in which Jesus humbled himself and became man. He became one with us because of his desire to save us. While we recall Jesus’ First Coming, we are also reminded about the Second Coming of Christ. We anticipate it, but the knowledge of this future event is beyond our capacities. The exact time of arrival can never be determined. No modern technology, however advanced, can determine it.

The gospel readings for Advent each year invite us to reflect on the mystery of waiting. In this Sunday’s gospel, Christ suggests some proper attitudes in relation to His Second Coming. These attitudes are also applicable to our preparation for the coming Christmas.

Firstly, Christ proposes vigilance. He says, “Be vigilant at all times.” It means to be watchful and alert. In our daily life, alertness and watchfulness contribute to the security of the person. For example, the car or bus driver’s watchfulness and alertness are good for the life of the passengers. These attitudes help the passengers to become free from possible dangers. In the same way, this vigilant attitude can be useful to our spiritual life. Watchfulness helps us to progress in life, and helps us to avoid spiritual dangers. It prevents us from being easily distracted by the worldly allurements and cares.

This attitude of watchfulness is required in relation to the Second Coming of Christ. The fact that we could not ascertain or determine Christ’s coming, we need to be alert and watchful all the more. 

Secondly, Christ suggests prayerfulness. He says, “Pray that you have the strength to escape the tribulations that are imminent.” Vigilance is not sufficient. The Lord demands us also to pray. Prayer for deliverance is one of the contents of our prayer. It is interesting to note that this petition can also be found in the Lord’s Prayer, which ends with the phrase, “deliver us from evil.” We have no idea what will be the events that would eventually lead to the Lord’s Second Coming or Last Judgment.  In case the events would not be favorable, then, we have the reason to pray.

Furthermore, if we are prayerful, we will live according to what St Paul calls the Thessalonians in the second reading. We will become “blameless in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his holy ones”.

Advent is an important season prior to the celebration of Christmas. It is meant to awaken our desire for God, our waiting for God. But, unfortunately, many people today do not live anymore the life of Advent. At the beginning of December, people celebrate Christmas already.

Let us be reminded that Advent is a gift of the Lord. This gracious season leads us to reflect on what is most important in life, that is, God’s love for us and our response to Him in faith, prayer and love. AMEN.

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