First Sunday of Advent (year A) – 27 November 2022
Readings: Isaiah 2:1-5; Psalm 122:1-9; Rom. 13:11-14; Matt. 24:37-44
Theme: The LORD God offers us unlimited existence – Be ready!
The first reading today sets the scene for the future promise of the LORD God. It describes the triumphant reign of God over all other gods worshipped on mountains and hills. The LORD God’s place of worship shall tower above other places of worship and shall make them insignificant. All nations shall recognize the One LORD God and shall flow from all areas to worship God on Mount Zion in Jerusalem which will become the New Jerusalem. We recall how before Jesus’ Ascension, he told his disciples that they should preach repentance and remission of sins in His name to all nations beginning in Jerusalem (Lk. 24:47). Verse 4 presents the LORD God as a just judge – dealing with each one as to how each has lived according to the Law of God given on Mount Sinai. Look what a future lies ahead of us: war shall no longer be the work of the day but rather farming – peaceful living and providing of food and sustenance for the nations. Once again we are called upon, as the House of Jacob, to come and walk in the light of the LORD. The New King James Version heads this section as follows: “The Future House of God.”
So, on that note we move to the Psalm for today: “I rejoiced when I heard them say, ‘Let us go to the House of the LORD.’” Once again we are encouraged to ‘go’ – to move ahead into the future. Peace is an overriding theme in this psalm as is the gathering of the nations.
From a vision of what awaits us in God’s promise we are now brought down to earth by Paul in his letter to the Romans and by Jesus’ warning to us as we await the second coming. In the first reading from Isaiah we are encouraged to walk in the light of the LORD. Paul warns us that the day is at hand and that we must cast off the works of darkness and live openly in the light. He also speaks about the apparel of war but tells us that our armor must be that of the light who is Jesus Christ.
In the Gospel we are taken back to the story of Noah where eight – the number beyond time – people paid heed to God’s warning and the rest of the people continued to provide for the flesh. The flood came and they were not ready!
This Sunday we are looking at two of the three ‘comings’ of Advent: the Second Coming of Jesus at the end of time and the coming for each of us at our death. Neither is known to us as to when each will happen. We are to be ready at all times because the life with God is worth giving up all the trappings of this transitory world. “Be ready: for the Son of man is coming at an hour you do not expect.”
For Reflection and Discussion: 1. If we look at Micah 4:1-3 we see a repeat of our first reading written some 15 years later. This vision of the future prepared by the LORD God requires reflection and searching in our time. What is God’s will for us so that we may cooperate in bringing this about? 2. “Be Ready!” How am I going to take these words more seriously during this Advent?
BBibliography: Hayford, Jack W. (gen ed.) Spirit Filled Life Bible. Nashville: (1991).
This week’s Sunday Liturgy Commentary was prepared by
Bernadette Teresa Chellew, South Africa, Bat Kol Alumna July 2008