Today's Scriptural Meditation Readings:
November 30, A.D. 2008
Scripture from today's Liturgy of the Word:
Isaiah 63:16b-17, 19b; 64:2-7
Psalm 80:2-3, 15-16, 18-19
1 Corinthians 1:3-9
A reflection on today's Scripture:
There was a popular song of the 1940s "I Didn't Know What Time it Was" which captures a common experience of people everywhere. How many times have we let time slip by us, then exclaimed in those same words "But I didn't know what time it was!"?
We have to struggle to control the moments of our lives. Perhaps this is the reason that millions watch the ball drop at midnight in Times Square. At least at that moment we are wide awake to greet the "now" moment of a New Year.
This week is a "now" moment in our journey through life; it is New Year’s Day in the liturgical calendar of the Catholic Church, and a time to heed today's readings.
In our First Reading from Isaiah, the Israelites have recently returned from their exile in Babylon, and they ask, "Why do you let us wander, O Lord, from your ways, and harden our hearts so that we fear you not?"
Today, we can well ask God the same question. We are battered and weary from both natural and economic disasters. Is God punishing us for our selfish use of His gifts? What should we do? We are confused and disheartened.
Jesus' first words in the Gospel of Mark are words of warning to repent, for the Kingdom of God is very near, and we know not the day or the hour when an accounting will be required of us. An accounting for what? Of how seriously we have focused on building this kingdom.
Advent is not only about a past coming of the Redeemer, but a present and future coming as well. The only response we can make to past failures is repentance. Now, we are only responsible for the present coming. It is for us to make up for past carelessness, and to prepare with faith and with energy for this present "advent" this Christmas.
Be watchful, be alert, to recognize Him in the little ones who are suffering from the inaction of the powerful and wealthy.
As we encourage our families and friends to bring the light of Christ's Word and Love into their Advent practices and prayer, we can prove to God that we do know what time it is, and we will be alert and ready for "the Day of our Lord Jesus Christ" (see today's second reading).
Our New Year begins today!
- Msgr. Paul Whitmore |
Sunday, November 30, 2008
The First Sunday of Advent
Lives of the saints:
Full Scripture text from today's Liturgy of the Word:
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