Archive for November 28, 2020

First Sunday of Advent

Posted: November 28, 2020 by CatholicJules in Sunday Reflections
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Watch for Him: Scott Hahn Reflects on the First Sunday of Advent

Readings:
Isaiah 63:16–17, 19
Psalm 80:2–3, 15–16, 18–19
1 Corinthians 1:3–9
Mark 13:33–37

The new Church year begins with a plea for God’s visitation. “Oh that you would rend the heavens and come down,” the prophet Isaiah cries in today’s First Reading.

In today’s Psalm, too, we hear the anguished voice of Israel, imploring God to look down from His heavenly throne—to save and shepherd His people.

Today’s readings are relatively brief. Their language and “message” are deceptively simple. But we should take note of the serious mood and penitential aspect of the Liturgy today—as the people of Israel recognize their sinfulness, their failures to keep God’s covenant, their inability to save themselves.

And in this Advent season, we should see our own lives in the experience of Israel. As we examine our consciences, can’t we, too, find that we often harden our hearts, refuse His rule, wander from His ways, withhold our love from Him?

God is faithful, Paul reminds us in today’s Epistle. He is our Father. He has hearkened to the cry of His children, coming down from heaven for Israel’s sake and for ours to redeem us from our exile from God, to restore us to His love.

In Jesus, we have seen the Father (see John 14:8–9). The Father has let His face shine upon us. He is the good shepherd (see John 10:11–15) come to guide us to the heavenly kingdom. No matter how far we have strayed, He will give us new life if we turn to Him, if we call upon His holy name, if we pledge anew never again to withdraw from Him.

As Paul says today, He has given us every spiritual gift—especially the Eucharist and penance—to strengthen us as we await Christ’s final coming. He will keep us firm to the end—if we let Him.

So, in this season of repentance, we should heed the warning—repeated three times by our Lord in today’s Gospel—to be watchful, for we know not the hour when the Lord of the house will return.

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: November 28, 2020 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

Let me share a sobering truth with you, there are many in this world who are troubled by the cares and wiles of the world. And so they turn to alcohol, drugs, sex, shopping, food, gaming as their form of escapism. Many of these do not yet know Jesus, many do but have a lukewarm compartmentalised faith; while others who claim to know Him even openly ‘show’ others that they do, in reality have a shallow relationship with Him for they often take the Lord their God for granted. They will stick to their routine timing for prayers often devotionals, more as a means to strike off their todolist That is why they would rather seek the company of friends than spend time with Him alone or with Him present in a community of disciples.

For true disciples of our Lord Jesus Christ who have a deep relationship with Him know without reservation that the peace, love and joy which the world seeks is to be found in Him alone! Therefore they seek each and everyday to remain awake in His presence, and to grow in their faith and love of Him. To love and honour Him, they strive to share in His love by putting said love into action; in service of others especially those who do not yet know Him. To see His face in those they serve, the sick, the downtrodden, especially those who are very difficult to love! For God our Heavenly Father’s Kingdom is at hand and we journey as One carrying one another on our backs if we have to, so that all of us can enter through the saving grace of His Son our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ. Amen

First reading
Apocalypse 22:1-7 ·
The Lord God will shine on them; it will never be night again

The angel showed me, John, the river of life, rising from the throne of God and of the Lamb and flowing crystal-clear down the middle of the city street. On either side of the river were the trees of life, which bear twelve crops of fruit in a year, one in each month, and the leaves of which are the cure for the pagans.
    The ban will be lifted. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in its place in the city; his servants will worship him, they will see him face to face, and his name will be written on their foreheads. It will never be night again and they will not need lamplight or sunlight, because the Lord God will be shining on them. They will reign for ever and ever.
    The angel said to me, ‘All that you have written is sure and will come true: the Lord God who gives the spirit to the prophets has sent his angel to reveal to his servants what is soon to take place. Very soon now, I shall be with you again.’ Happy are those who treasure the prophetic message of this book.

Gospel
Luke 21:34-36
That day will be sprung on you suddenly, like a trap

Jesus said to his disciples:
    ‘Watch yourselves, or your hearts will be coarsened with debauchery and drunkenness and the cares of life, and that day will be sprung on you suddenly, like a trap. For it will come down on every living man on the face of the earth. Stay awake, praying at all times for the strength to survive all that is going to happen, and to stand with confidence before the Son of Man.’