Homily for the 1st Sunday of Advent Year C
Theme: A call to stay awake and to pray at all times
By: Fr. Diotacious Chikontwe SMA
*READINGS OF THE DAY*
1 Thessalonians 3:12-4:2
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, this Sunday we mark the beginning of a new liturgical year and more significantly, the beginning of the season of Advent, the time of preparation for the celebration of Christmas, which we are going to celebrate in about four weeks’ time. This season of Advent is a blessed and great time for all of us to reflect, take a step back and see how our lives have been, and how ready we are to welcome the Lord into our hearts and families, into our lives this Christmas.
*SO WHAT IS THIS ADVENT SEASON?*
The term Advent comes from two Latin words Ad-ventus or ad-venire, which simply means “to arrive” or “to come” respectively.” It marks the beginning of the Church’s liturgical calendar. It is a four-week period leading up to Christmas.
*WHAT DOES THIS SEASON MEAN TO US CATHOLICS AND CHRISTIANS OF TODAY?*
For us Christians and Catholics of today in particular, it means a time of expectation and preparation for the Lord’s birth. So, the prophecy of John the Baptist: “a voice of one calling in the desert, prepare a way for the Lord …” (Mk 1, 3), echoes loudly to us this season.
*FROM THE FIRST READING*
The first reading from Jeremiah reminds us that we expect the fulfillment of God’s promises to us this season. The promise is about our deliverance, and the restoration of our lost integrity which has been stifled by fear of the unknown. It is equally a time of restoration of our hope and faith. Jesus comes also to liberate us from shame and sorrows.
*HOW DO WE PREPARE OURSELVES ?*
Paul gives us a clue in our second reading when he says: “May he so confirm your hearts in holiness that you may be blameless in the sight of our God…when our Lord Jesus comes with all his saints.
*FROM THE GOSPEL READING*
Today’s gospel reminds us of something very important in our Christian journey. It calls us to be awake and watchful. Therefore, this is a call for us to intensify and strengthen our prayer life. This is because prayer purifies the soul and casts away all fears. It prepares and strengthens us in joyful hope.
*THE CENTRAL MESSEGE OF TODAYS LITURGY*
Brothers and sisters in Christ, let us all make good use of this season of Advent to prepare ourselves well, in heart, body and mind so that we will be ready to welcome the Lord in our hearts, into our families and houses, and make Him truly the King of our entire existence. Let us all be the bearers of His Hope and Light, His Truth and His Love to our fellow brothers and sisters all around us. Let us be the witnesses of His loving kindness by showing that same love and generosity to our fellow men, especially to those who are lacking in love and ostracised, the poor and the needy.
May our Advent journey be meaningful and fruitful, and may God be our guide and strength, our compass and light, our hope and courage in the midst of the darkness and trials in this world. May God bless us all and strengthen us, that our Advent preparation and our upcoming Christmas celebrations will be truly wonderful.
HAVE A BLESSED FIRST SUNDAY OF ADVENT SEASON!
Fr. Diotacious Chikontwe SMA