By Fr. Andrew Kelly
FIRST SUNDAY OF ADVENT – DEC. 2
The Advent Season is a celebration of past, present and future manifestations of God’s presence in the world.
But Advent always causes a crisis in which decisions have to be made.
In the past it was Mary, Joseph, shepherds, Magi, Zechariah, Elizabeth, Simeon and Anna all being confronted with the Advent of God.
Sunday’s Gospel (Luke 21:25-28, 34-36) is about Advent in the distant future. This too is a crisis:
“People will faint from fear and foreboding of what is coming upon the world, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken.”
For believers, every day is an Advent crisis. Once God is found, the Advent decisions never cease.
How do believers cherish and respect God’s presence in creation? How do believers reverence God’s presence in every human being, especially the poorest of the poor? God’s present coming is as scary as God’s future coming.
The Advent tradition is not to be overwhelmed, but to: “…stand up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”
Advent spirituality is “Be alert at all times, praying that you may have the strength to …” both make and live the Advent decisions that need to be made.
(Father Andrew Kelly is a retired priest of the Diocese of Davenport.)
Scripture Readings for Dec. 2-9
1 Thes 3:12-4:2
Lk 21:25-28, 34-36
Mt 7:21, 24-27
Gn 3:9-15, 20
Eph 1:3-6, 11-12
Phil 1:4-6, 8-11