Today's Scriptural Meditation Readings:
November 29 A..D. 2009
Scripture from today's Liturgy of the Word:
Psalm 25:4-5, 8-9, 10, 145
1 Thessalonians 3:12-4:2
Luke 21:25-28, 34-36
A reflection on today's Scripture:
That some years ago I was leading the rosary at the wake of a wonderful Irish mother whose family and friends were all praying with me. One of her sons told me that, as children, they recited the rosary every night after supper. If she caught anyone misbehaving, she would simply say, "We'll start over." He told me they were all very devout the second time!
Advent is a time for all of us to "start over." We may have missed many opportunities to grow closer to the Lord during the Church Year, which has just ended. As we went through the various events in the life of Christ, we had the chance to grow in appreciation for Jesus leaving the glory of heaven to come in poverty and cold to a stable in Bethlehem.
As the year progressed, did we appreciate enough how much He suffered, enduring the discomforts of life as an itinerant preacher, often ridiculed and misunderstood? How well did we ourselves get the message that, if we were to follow Him, we would be called to imitate His life of prayer, His life of love and service? Maybe we "nodded off" along the way, and missed opportunities to grow closer to the Lord. This First Sunday of Advent is a "wake-up call" to start all over.
All the prophecies of the Old Testament point in some way or another to Jesus in the New Testament. The first reading from Jeremiah tells us that, a long time ago, God had promised Israel that a "just shoot" would come from the line of King David to bring security and justice to the people. We today are the heirs of that promise.
In the second reading, St. Paul reminds the Thessalonians that our lives are all about waiting. And how do we wait? By being careful to love one another, to live lives "blameless in holiness" at the final coming of the Lord.
In the Gospel, it's the Lord Himself who warns us against careless carousing and drowsy hearts. He tells us not to let the distractions and anxieties of daily living catch us off guard. The punch line is "Be vigilant at all times!"
Aren't you glad that we have a chance to "start over" this Advent?
~ Msgr. Paul Whitmore
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Sunday, November 29, 2009
First Sunday of Advent
Lives of the saints:
Full Scripture text from today's Liturgy of the Word:
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