The First Sunday of Advent – 29th November 2020
Lectionary Readings: Isa 16:16-1; 64,1.3.8; Ps 80:2-3,15-16,18-19; 1 Cor 1:3-9; Mk 13:33-37
Theme: Watch over and pay attention on the Scriptures and on the reality.
The gospel of Mark invites us to ‘Watch!’ We begin this Sunday the season the liturgy offers us to prepare for the feast of the Incarnation: the Emmanuel Presence. Each Sunday we are invited to enter into the mystery of God’s Incarnation amongst all humankind. This special period in the liturgy is called Advent. It has been celebrated since the 4th or 5th century. Each week we are aware that the time comes closer as the liturgy invites us to celebrate the joy and the light that enter our lives despite the absence of light in our reality.
Another aspect of Advent is that in the 5th century at the Council from Ephesus (431) the Church proclaimed, Mary, Mother of God. From this moment on the birth of Jesus was of more importance to be celebrated because of this dogma: Jesus is truly man and truly God.
The readings begin with the prophet of this season, Isaiah, who calls on: “You, O Lord, are our Father and Redeemer” (v. 16d) to “tear the heavens and come down.” (64:1) Psalm 79(80:2ac, 3b) and the 1Cor 1:8, express this Messianic situation that the community has been living but we are also aware of the sense of expectancy.
In the Gospel, we see the lesson of the fig tree: it is necessary to know the right time for the harvest. We can know this from the signs the tree gives. We are at the end time of Jesus’ ministry. This special time in the liturgy of Advent shows us two types of ‘coming’ of the Messiah Jesus. Christmas celebrates the coming of the Messiah: the great mystery of a God who becomes flesh. We are also living in the waiting time; this Messianic reality will come to us in our remembering of the event. We are in this dynamic of ‘already’ but ‘not yet’. We are waiting for the glorious coming of Jesus. On the one hand, we celebrate his coming and on the other hand, we look forward to his glorious Second Coming.
We must now resume the dimension of our responsibility to prepare for the glorious Second Coming of Jesus. The first coming concerns God, who kept his promises. The Second Coming is now up to us to carry out the conditions for this Kingdom of God to be established among us. “Visit this vineyard, protect it” (Ps 80:15-16a). Absolute trust in the one God is required. The community that once believed in the Messiah is safe (1 Cor 1). Mark’s Gospel reminds us that this waiting is dynamic. It is not known when. But one must always be prepared to understand this coming of Jesus. Let us always pay attention to his words and the words of the Holy Scriptures. Pay attention too to our lives where Jesus comes daily into our reality.
For Reflection and Discussion: 1. Could it be a good start to prepare to celebrate the Birth of the Messiah, to realize that the first cradle where he lay was in the Jewish civilization? 2. Can accepting our responsibility to establish the conditions of the Kingdom of God, help us to be better prepared for Jesus’ Second Glorious Coming?
Bibliography: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MAhuILLsyNA – FOS – First Sunday of Advent – Brother Elio Passeto.
This week’s Sunday Liturgy Commentary was prepared by
Fernando Gross, Brasil, Bat Kol Alumna: 2017,2018,2019