Homily for the First Sunday of Advent Year A
Theme: Prepare your hearts
By: Fr. Agustin Mateo, Pastor
St. Rose of Lima Parish, Gaithersburg, MD
for December 1, 2019 First Sunday of Advent
Homily for Sunday December 1 2019
Today we begin our four-week season of Advent, which will prepare us for the two comings of the Lord in history. On the one hand, we prepare for the first coming of the Lord in history, which was his incarnation in the womb of the Virgin Mary. On the other hand, the second coming of the Lord in history will be at the end of ages in all his glory. The first, second, and third Sundays of Advent speak about the Lord’s coming at the end of times and the figure of John the Baptist preparing the way for the Lord. The fourth week of Advent will prepare us more specifically for the birth of the Lord Jesus as He assumed the lowliness of human flesh. So, Advent announces the two comings of Christ in history, at the end of times and at his incarnation through the power of the Holy Spirit in the Virgin Mary. We must prepare our heart for these comings with a conversion from our sins.
These four weeks are a special time to meditate on these two comings in order to prepare our hearts to receive the Lord. One of the best ways to prepare our hearts is by celebrating the sacrament of reconciliation that our parish of St. Rose of Lima offers in a special way during this season. The words of St. Paul in the second reading this Sunday speak about this conversion of heart by throwing off the works of darkness and putting on the armor of light. He makes an examination of conscience for us by naming some works of sin such as orgies, drunkenness, promiscuity, lust, rivalry, and jealousy. The words of St. Paul are in accord with the words of Jesus. In the gospel of today, Jesus reminds us of the story of Noah so that we may not live distracted in the hectic activities of life, while forgetting to prepare for the coming of the Lord. Jesus provides us with the new ark of Noah, which is the Church. As Noah called people to be saved in the ark from the flood, the waters of death, so the Church calls us to come on board through the sacraments so that we may be saved from the waters of sin and death. The humble of the earth may welcome this invitation to salvation, repent from their sins, and experience the joy of the forgiveness of sins. This can be one of the ways we can begin a new life in Christ, which St. Paul speaks about in the second reading. The ornaments, colors, readings, and prayers at the celebration of the Mass will speak of this time as a way of conversion.
Let us stay awake and in the light from this first Sunday of Advent so that the Lord may find us waiting for him when he comes, whether at the end of times or at Christmas. As we light the first purple candle of our Advent wreath, let us remember the candle we received at our baptism to be children of light who await the coming of heavenly Father to meet him with all the saints.