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Isaiah 2:1-5 – Psalm 122 – Romans 13:11-14 – Matthew 24:37-44
“So … be prepared, for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come.” (the ending of today’s Holy Gospel according to St. Matthew.)
My first thought after going over the scripture readings for today’s liturgy was that these scriptures should be required reading for every day of our lives. Just think what our world would be like if we actually “lived” these Holy Words of God?
Yet, the reality is still there: we’ve done this before – countless numbers of times – but the world seems to turn a deaf ear to God’s desire to re-create us to a better life.
So, here we are: the First Sunday of Advent, 2013. How are we going to begin to let this desire of God come to full bloom?
Today’s first reading from the Prophet Isaiah had a line that caught my attention: “Come, let us climb the Lord’s mountain, to the house of God…” (Isaiah 2:2) It reminded me of the time I spent in the Holy Land during a study semester in 1983. It was the day we climbed Mt. Sinai. We started in the dark hours of early morning and slowly wound our way to the top. I had told the other members of our group that I wanted to do this assent in silence. When I said that they all chuckled, “You mean you’re going to keep your mouth shut for three hours?”
None-the-less, I did it and when we arrived at the top – actually far above the clouds – I was ready to sing out my praise to God for bringing me to – what seemed like the -gateway to Heaven! We had a most beautiful Mass at the first light of day and then – as is always the case – we had to make our way back to the plain and continue our lives with just the memory of this “close encounter” to keep us going. And that’s exactly what has happened. All those many years ago, I still have a vivid picture in my mind of that brief moment of being so close to God.
As we begin this Season of Advent we are given yet, another chance to allow God’s grace to enter into our daily lives. The only thing we have to be careful about is to enter in to these four weeks with a fresh intention of becoming more open to God’s grace and presence so that our world might have the chance to become a place where the “Prince of Peace” might be able to become real in our world. Amen!