Reflections 1st December 2019

A Reflection for the First Sunday of Advent

Mt. 24: 37-44

A new start, a new gospel and – liturgically speaking – a new year!  

This may not where most of us are at as we think about the first Sunday of Advent. The commercial world began the mad rush of preparation for Christmas many weeks ago but today, as we gather, our Church invites us into an altogether different waiting space. We await the God who comes, and it seems that the Scriptures tell us that, to do that well, first and foremost we need to wake up! That may be easier said than done. It is winter after all and we are in hibernation-mode.  

On the one hand Isaiah is cajoling us, calling us with a gentle tap on the shoulder; “come on” he says, “let’s gather ourselves and go to a place where the view is better, to a higher place, where God wants to show us a different horizon.” God would teach us, would have us learn that our energies don’t have to go into making weapons and that we could instead think about preparing for a harvest where we reap the joy of living in God’s world.  

On the other hand, Matthew is more of an alarm-clock than a cajoler: “Don't sleepwalk your way past the opportunity that comes now.” No! wake up and stand ready, maybe a cold shower is in order because the truth is we could miss what God is doing and that would be tragic beyond words!” 

It depends on where we are at. For some of us a gentle tap on the shoulder will suffice while others will need the cold shower! Either way what matters is that we acknowledge our need to bestir ourselves so that we might recognise what God is offering us in this Holy Season – the Son of Man, the human one who is the agent of our well-being is coming and in more or less unexpected ways.  None of us can afford to let this kairos moment pass. 

The Sundays of Advent 2019, Reflections by Seán Goan (Co-ordinator of Spiritan Mission Ireland)