It’s the time of the year when the Catholic Church unfolds another liturgical season – the Advent.
Advent (from the Latin word adventus) means “coming.” It is the start of the four-week observation for the “coming” or birth of Jesus Christ.
What can we do to prepare for Jesus’ coming?
Read the Scriptures. Fr. Eric Sevencruz, CSrR, a Redemptorist missionary priest said, the “more we immerse into the Word of God, the more God touches us, God speaks to us, God changes us.”
Empty our hearts. Removing “toxins and negativity” such as sin and anger would “allow a space for God to dwell there,” Fr. Sevencruz added.
Today’s Gospel (Mt. 24: 37-44), Jesus tells his disciples: “Stay awake! For you do not know on which day your Lord will come.”
Here are the reflections for today’s Gospel for the first Sunday of Advent of 2022:
Fr. Rufino “Jun” Sescon Jr., Quaipo Church
Sabi ni Panginoong Hesus sa Ebanghelyo, “Noong panahon ni Noe, ang mga tao naglalasing, nagsasaya, nagta-trabaho. Dumating ang baha, nalipol silang lahat. Nakaligtaan nila ang katapusan.”
Yung estudyante, halimbawa, tinext ka ng kaibigan mo. Sabi, “Labas tayo mamaya. May birthday. May inuman.” Ikaw naman, “Wow! May party. Masarap siguro pagkain dun, may inumin.” Nakalimutan mo, ang katapusan, may eksamen kayo. Meron kang assignment, may homework ka. Pero dahil inisip mo lang ang ngayon, ayun dumeretso ka sa party.
Fr. Marion Noel Bayaras, Manila Cathedral
Kung tinatanong tayo kung bakit tayo nagtatrabaho, ang palaging sagot, “Para may makain tayo, para may panggastos tayo araw-araw.”
Pag tinatanong, bakit ka nagpapakasal, sometimes the answer that we would hear is for them to have someone in their life, a companion in the future.
But the readings would remind us that it is not enough to secure our today and our tomorrow. It is not enough to secure the next months and the next years of our life. Because the ultimate question would be, “Are we ready when the time comes that God will call us? Are we ready to leave everything? Are we ready to face God?”
Jonathan Montaldo, writer, editor, retreat and conference presenter
The time is coming for our indictment as distracted Christians who serve many masters. We profess Christ as Lord while pursuing money, power, and the pride of possessing a privileged life. As the world’s forests burn and its waters flood, our personal and collective animosities for those not washed in the blood of our separate tribes spread chaos upon the land.
In the name of God, Advent 2022 must incite private and corporate protest and non-compliance against whatever forces are manipulating us from opportunities to become more fully human beings. Prayer, protest, and what (Thomas) Merton called “a certain non-acquiescence” might be what many of us not in positions of influence have left to fight the “powers” that rule us. Our prayers, protests, and non-acquiescence focus our freedoms on the “one thing necessary,” love of God and neighbor. The place to exercise freedom is best in religious and fully humanistic communities. Only in union will we be encouraged to work in hope in spite of our experiences.