First Sunday of Advent (Year B)
1st Reading: Isaiah 63 v 16-17 & 64 v 1, 3-8
2nd Reading: 1Corinthians 1 v 3-9
Gospel: Mark 13 v 33-37
Homily reflections for Sunday:
In the gospel today, and in recent gospels, Our Lord’s message has been to be on our guard, to stay awake, to be prepared and ready, because we do not know the day or the hour when he will return. But in our humanness do we tend to look rather at the fact that he hasn’t come in the last two thousand years and so what are the odds of his coming today or even tomorrow? It’s the same mentality that people seem to have who live in the shadow of Mt Vesuvius, or in San Francisco, or along the San Andreas fault, all thinking that the odds of anything happening in their lifetime are pretty slim so let today take care of itself and don’t worry about tomorrow.
How many of you, I wonder, find yourself remarking on how time seems to fly by? I have two pill dispensers that I refill on Sundays and I always seem to be refilling them – it always seems to be Sunday and then the next Sunday, and then the next. Or, the daily Office that we priests say, and some of you do as well, is on a four-week cycle and it passes in no time and I find myself constantly back at Week One restarting that cycle. Where does the time go? I’m sure many of you have similar experiences.
So if time seems to fly by, why doesn’t this alert us more regularly and forcefully to a greater awareness of our need to be on our guard, awake and alert, prepared and ready for Our Lord’s return? Surely the more quickly time seems to pass, the more ready we should be on the basis that for every day that does pass, the more his second coming is likely to happen? It’s like a raffle – with every ticket that is drawn, the more the chances increase of ours being the next one out… or the more bingo numbers that are called the more the odds increase of our numbers being next.
The inevitable passage of time may not be a very pleasant thing to think about, but it should at least cause us to be more mindful of Our Lord’s message to be on our guard, to stay awake, to be prepared and ready, and this Advent season of repentance and preparation for Christmas is a further reminder for us. Let’s therefore use this season well.