Thought for the Week

29 Nov 2018

Holy Season of Advent – 1st Sunday in Advent

Jesus said to his disciples: ‘Be on your guard, stay awake, because you never know when the time will come.  So stay awake because you do not know when the Master of the house is coming.’

Mark 13:34,35a

This weekend begins the Holy Season of Advent.  On Sunday, it will be the First Sunday in Advent.  We are now in the new Church Year and we have also begun our individual Advent journeys.

Advent is four weeks of personal spiritual preparation.  As we aim to make more room in our hearts and lives for God by prayer, reflection and acts of kindness towards those in need, our hearts and lives become more ready to welcome the new-born Jesus into our lives anew at Christmas.

The word ‘Advent’ comes from a Latin word adveniat meaning either ‘to come’ or ‘to arrive’.

During Advent we remember the first coming of Jesus as a tiny baby, born in a stable in Bethlehem and we look towards His Second Coming as our King at the end of time when He will gather all people to Himself. Advent is a time of joyful expectant waiting.  We are to wait in hope because our Saviour is coming to rescue us!

The Gospel reading tells us we are to stay awake because we do not know when He will come back again.  We should be “about our Father’s business”, serving Him in how we treat others and how we live our lives.

We need to be prepared.  How exactly do we do this?  We can try and make more time for God each day through prayer, attending Mass, going to extra little services/Bible studies/prayer events taking place in our parishes.  We can mark the passing of Advent with a Jesse Tree or an Advent Candle/Spiritual Advent Calendar which reflects the birth of Jesus – the real meaning of Christmas. We can also begin by saying special Advent Prayers.  Our Advent wreath here in School can help us to focus on the weeks of Advent as we watch the candles being lit week by week, leading us to Christmas.

During Advent let us rise to the challenge of prayer and service by helping those in need by helping to collect items for the hampers appeal in School; going to Mass and other church services; by setting some time aside each day to pray quietly, to read God’s Word, the Bible and reflect upon the fact that God loved our world so much that He gave His dearest Treasure, His Son Jesus to us and for us. (c.f. John 3:16)

Prayer for the First Sunday in Advent:

All powerful Father,

In this Holy Season of Advent,

Keep us awake and ever watching for Jesus’ coming again in glory,

as we remember His first coming to earth at Christmas

for no one knows the day or the hour when it will be.

Holy Spirit of God, no ear has heard, no eye has seen,

what You have prepared for those who love You.

Amen.