Prepare Your Hearts for the Lord.
Gospel Reflection for First Sunday of Advent 11/27/2022
It is fitting that our liturgical year begins when the cold stillness of winter approaches us. Many parishes will open the Advent season with the processional hymn “O Come, Come Emmanuel.” The turn of the season with what appears to the senses to be the death of life helps create the setting for the feeling of longing. The outside world becomes hostile, and so we begin to hunker down, hoping for a long-awaited dawn from on high.
Here's some truth:
We are a world in crisis. We are a Church in crisis. And It has always been this way.
To be honest, I always get disappointed with the first week’s Advent readings because I am already fired up for some good John the Baptist calls for repentance—that’s next week. The Church, in her wisdom, sets the foundation for hearing John the Baptist with our readings on recognizing the coming of the Kingdom of God—which is ushered in by the incarnation of Our Lord, Jesus Christ.
He must increase; I must decrease.”
The people of Israel, during the time of the formation of the prophetic books, began to develop a richer understanding of God’s covenant to David of an everlasting kingdom. The Israelites were exiled from Jerusalem by the Babylonians. As the Israelites longed and waited for their return to Jerusalem, they wondered what this kingdom would look like. What type of leader would be this anointed ruler—the Messiah?
Many imagined a warrior king that would subdue his political opponents by force, but that is the way of the world. Jesus, the Lord Himself, has come to subdue His opponents with His love. A love that is marked by humility and willing the good of others.
Our Lord Jesus gives us the model by taking the form of a slave—the man of humility. So, what would result if all hearts would repent of their sins and turn back toward God?
Our first reading from the book of the prophet Isaiah gives us a look into a world where the kingdom of humility reigns supreme in the hearts of humanity:
He shall judge between the nations,
and impose terms on many peoples.
They shall beat their swords into plowshares
and their spears into pruning hooks;
one nation shall not raise the sword against another,
nor shall they train for war again.
O house of Jacob, come,
let us walk in the light of the Lord!
An everlasting paradise.
So, ask yourself, which Messiah do you imagine in your heart? The Warrior King or the Man of Humility?
The Church has provided Advent to refocus our efforts to model ourselves after the Lord Jesus, the man of humility. The time is now. Do not be caught off guard when the Lord comes again to gather His people. Those whom the Lord chooses are those who have repented and come to believe the entirety of the gospel unashamed of it. Two men or two women will be going to mass, one will be taken, and one will be left. Which one will you be?
 Jn 3:30, NABRE
 Isa 2:4-5, NABRE
We are to celebrate the soon to be birthday of our Saviour,while readying ourselves for the time of His coming again!
I see so much anger in the world, in our nation. I think, tough we don't realize it fully, even Christians believers have become angry, but its not really righteous anger. We want a warrior king, sword in hand. We want a political messiah who will fix our government with a political solutions. I have to watch myself, as I too can fall into that trap! Perhaps our prayer should be "Come Lord Jesus. Not will but thy will be done!"
Very excellent reflection, Phillip!