Homily for the 1st Sunday of Advent Year A
Theme: Put on the Lord Jesus Christ; make no provision for the flesh
By: Rev. Fr. Anthony Igbekele
Homily for Sunday December 1 2019
Sunday of the 1st Week of Advent:
Scripture: 1st Reading: 1st Reading: Is2,1-5; Resp. Psalm: Ps122,1-2,4-9; 2nd Reading: Rom13,11-14; Gosp. Accl.: Ps85,8; Gospel: Mt24,37-44
New liturgical year. New beginning. New walk with the Lord in the light of His word. Freshness. Wholeness. New opportunities to do something different and new. New vigour and energy. New expectations of divine visitation and encounter. New life coming from that deep and unforgettable encounter with our loving Lord. Happy New Year.
Today is the first Sunday of Advent. The words above capture some of the feelings we have as we begin this new liturgical year. Advent sets the tone for the encounter that will permeate the entire liturgical year. Advent prepares our hearts, minds and souls to understand the responsibilities incumbent on us due to the first historical coming of our Lord and His final coming when He will come to judge the living and the dead.
Advent is therefore our period of spiritual preparation. We use this season to reflect, meditate and act on thd word of God. We use it to meditate on the love of God who decided to send His Son to save us and the love of the Son who accepted the mission given Him by the Father. We also reflect on the love of the Holy Spirit who would be the principal Agent at the Incarnation of the Word of God.
The season begins today with the cheery and happy prophecy from Isaiah. It expresses the vision in which God would directly intervene in the life of His people. All nations shall flow to the mountain of the Lord. The house of Jacob shall be raised as the ensign for the nations. The law shall go out from Zion and the Word of the Lord from Jerusalem.
Out of this nation shall be raised the One who shall judge between the nations and decide for many peoples. Isaiah continues today’s prophecy on a note of admonition: the people should walk in the light of the Lord if ever they hoped to become protagonists of these saving events.
The second reading today continues this theme. Believers are warned to recognize their time of salvation, redemption and renewal. They are to recognize that they are to wake from sleep: they are to cast off the works of darkness and put on the armour of light. They are to put away all types of revelling, drunkenness, debauchery and licentiousness, quarreling and jealousy.
In the holy season of Advent, believers are to “put on the Lord Jesus Christ and make no provision for the flesh.” Our Lord taught us the same lesson in the gospel of today’s liturgy. In the gospel, our Lord warned us against carelessness and lack of adequate preparedness. He referred to the events of the deluge and the destruction of the earth through flood.
The cause of that destruction was sin. Sin had taken over the face of the earth and the hearts of men and women. The flood was for the purification and cleansing of the earth. Noah and His family were the only ones spared. As Noah was building the Ark that would save him and his family, those who saw him paid no heed and were going about their sinful and corrupt ways of life until the very day Noah and his family entered the Ark and the deluge came.
Our Lord used this story and the metaphor of two women grinding at the mill to forewarn us about the danger ahead of us if we think He will not come again. Our Lord taught us today that the only remedy is to watch and be ready. This is because no one knows the hour at which the Son of man is coming. The watching and getting ready are the keys to meeting Him when He comes again.
As we begin the season of Advent today, let us never forget that our life is transitory. Every new day, which is a new beginning and new opportunity, is paradoxically a lessening of our span here on earth. We must therefore use our time well. This Advent Season puts us on the right track to trace our way back home. Are we really prepared to do this? Are we ready to watch and be ready?
Today is also the first day of December and the beginning of a new month, the last month of this year. As we begin this new month and this new liturgical year, let us reflect on our commitment to the word of God. Are we fervent? Are we zealous? Do we take the word with earnestness? Do we pass it on to others? As we begin a new month, may the good Lord go with us. May He never be tired of us. May He bless us and grant us the spirit of commitment to follow Him. Happy New Month. Happy New Liturgical Year.
Let us pray: “Grant your faithful, we pray, almighty God, the resolve to run forth to meet your Christ with righteous deeds at his coming, so that, gathered at his right hand, they may be worthy to possess the heavenly kingdom.” Amen
May the Living Word of God find a true dwelling place within our hearts and souls today and always. Rev. Fr. Anthony Igbekele