First Sunday of Advent (Matthew24:37-44)
A new liturgical year begins and the season of Advent starts. Traditionally we reflect on the final return of Christ, his ‘second coming’. The fundamental message here is to be ready at all times. The beauty of Advent lies in the sure hope that the Lord will come. In Advent we should examine our Christian response and style of life with honesty and make the changes that faith suggests so that we are indeed ready to meet the Lord.
Do I calculate how to reach salvation, or am I constantly ready to welcome the Lord?
What changes are required in the way I live the days of Advent and my Christian life?
Let us pray for trust, perseverance, and generosity on our journey.
Let us pray that the true sense of Advent and Christmas will be rediscovered in our society.
Second Sunday of Advent (Matthew 3:1-12
Today we are introduced to another great Advent figure, John the Baptist. For John, the love of God is not limited to the chosen race, and all men and women are called to produce good fruit.
John’s principal task is to point to the ‘one who follows me’. This one is more powerful and will bring a new baptism, in the Holy Spirit.
Do I listen out for the voice of the prophet crying in the wilderness of this world?
Do I rely on my ‘status’ as a Christian rather than striving to live as one?
Let us pray for true repentance.
Let us pray for courage in living and proclaiming God’s good news.
Third Sunday of Advent (Matthew 11:2-11)
The ministry of John the Baptist is now at an end. He is in prison, and martyrdom awaits him. He has doubts about Jesus being the Messiah. How can we explain this?
John expected the Messiah to bring retribution. John must learn that the way of Jesus is different; he brings healing and life, and good news for all.
The gospel challenges us to accept in our minds and hearts that the Son of God brings forgiveness, and that the only thing which can deny us salvation and eternal life is our own refusal to be forgiven and loved.
Am I willing to accept the good news of forgiveness for myself and others?
‘Happy are those who do not lose faith in me’. Do I trust the words of Jesus?
Let us pray for all those who consider themselves worthless and undeserving of love.
Let us pray for those whp preach a god of retribution that they may know God’s compassion.
Fr Adrian Graffy