Scripture Reflection . . .
First Reading: Isaiah 2:1-5
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 122 “Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.”
Second Reading: Romans 13:11-14
Gospel: Matthew 24:37-44
The themes of light and staying awake run throughout the Scripture Readings on this First Sunday of Advent.
St. Paul in his Letter to the Romans, urges us to “awake from sleep,” and “put on the armor of light” for our the time of salvation draws near.
In the Gospel, Jesus, perhaps sensing his time is drawing near, beseeches his followers, “stay awake!” This continues to be his plea in his final moments of prayer before being arrested (Matthew 26:40 – 46).
In order to see the light we need to be awake, alert, attentive. The light may be like the bright noon day sun, a roaring bonfire or the smallest flicker of flame, or the last burning ember.
Advent is the season to be attentive to the light within and around us no matter how small. It is an opportunity to tend the flame so we can see more clearly the vision of peace God holds out to us. Tending a fire requires vigilance – time and attentiveness. We can’t light a candle or throw a log on the fire and walk away. Advent reminds us to move slower so as to be attentive to the inner movements of the Spirit. The shorter winter days draw us closer to the warmth and light. Let us draw closer to the Light of Christ, who gives us courage to see what the Light illuminates in the darkness within us and within the world.
In Our Lives as Sisters of The Holy Redeemer . . .
It seems fitting then that we are praying with the theme “In Praise of Light” to guide our Advent season.
As we enter into Advent we reflect on the the moments of light this past week – moments when the Light of Christ caught our attention:
The candles on Sister Kim’s birthday cake lit up the faces of her family and her religious community as we celebrated the gift of her life and the light of Christ within her. Well, there were a lot of candles – she had a big birthday! But who would guess – she has such a youthful glow.
The next evening we welcomed back another glowing Sister! Sister Anne Marie returned from her 6 week sabbatical – renewed and rested so the light of Christ in her shone brightly as she enters into the next term of leadership.
Then the great feast of Thanksgiving. We gathered at table giving thanks and praise for the generosity of God who brightens our lives with faith, friends, and an abundance of resources.
The Feastday of one of our Sisters is always an occasion of light, drawing our attention to the presence of Christ. This week on November 25th we celebrated Sister Katharina Maria and her Patron Saint, St. Catherine of Alexandria – both faith-filled, light-filled women.
In Your Life . . .
Advent offers the invitation to be attentive to the areas in need of light in our lives. To notice where there is darkness and sleepiness. Strangely enough these are the places that may draw us closer to the light of Christ. It is in the darkness that the smallest light is most visible and it is our sleepiness that can point out our need for a spark of the Spirit.
Slowing down and making space for prayer is a great way to be attentive to the light and darkness in our lives and in the world. You may want to start Advent by choosing a time each day to pray for at least 10 – 15 minutes.
Blessings on your week and your Advent Season!