*HOMILY FOR THE FIRST SUNDAY OF ADVENT*, YEAR A
*THEME : BE AWAKE; THE LORD IS COMING*
My dear faithful, today we celebrate the first Sunday of Advent, a sign that the Church has begun a new liturgical year. This tells us that for the Church the new year begins not on 1st January but with Advent. It is therefore important that we remind ourselves of the meaning of advent for our Christian journey.
The word advent is a translation of the Latin word “adventus” which is a translation of the Greek word “parousia” which refers to Christ’s second coming.
Advent therefore has a twofold character, it is a time of preparation for the solemnities of Christmas, in which the first coming of the son of God to humanity is remembered, and likewise it is a time when by remembrance of this, hearts and minds are led to look forward to the second coming of Christ at the end of time. It is a period of devout and expectant delight (cf General norms for the Liturgical year, no. 39)
Advent is thus a season where we not only think about Christmas but we look forward and prepare for Christ’s second coming at the end of time. However , most of us allow ourselves to be carried away by the “physical preparation” for Christmas that we neglect the preparation for the second coming of Christ. Most people unfortunately get distracted with the buying of new clothes, new shoes, and the painting of the home without thinking about the need to visit the confessional, pray more, repair what is broken and to heal what is hurt in their relationships.
In addition, advent reminds us not to be anxious about when the world will end but to be ready for it by staying vigilant and not take things for granted. This is affirmed by the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC 673) that it was not part of His plan of salvation to reveal this information.
Let us therefore resolve to always stay awake and be in readiness for His coming since no one knows the hour of His coming.