1st Sundayof Advent Year A - 1/12/2019 - Gospel: Mt 24: 37-44
Spiritual awakening
The first Sunday of Advent begins a new liturgical year. Each year, the Church reminds her members, that they need to be ready to welcome Jesus whenever he returns. We know for sure, that Jesus will return, but either (a) the time is unknown or (b) when, is unknown to everyone except the Father. Images employed in the Bible give a sense of certainty, that Jesus will return for the second time, but the time remains unknown to us. The Church calls her members to focus on the 'sense of certainty', and not on 'the time of when'. Because his return is certain to happen, it is better to prepare for it, and when it happens, we have already prepared. There is no easy answer to know how much in advance the preparation is needed. God's mercy saves us. God's mercy in our hearts makes us worthy before God. Those who aim to make long term preparation in advance are likely to fail, because they get tired of waiting, get bored and give up. Alternatively, the good option is making daily preparation, and that is much easier, because it takes less time and effort to do it each day. At the end of each day, one can reflect and see how much hope and faith that person had in God in a given day. There is no need do preparation for tomorrow, because the time of his coming is unknown. Welcoming God into our life each day is a sensible thing to do. We wake up and go to work each day. Some people are offering that day for Jesus; others are not. St Paul calls us to wear the Christian virtues. Each day we conduct our lives in a good and benevolent manner. Each day we follow the way of the Lord. Children of God should make God's love known to others both at home and at work. Conducting our lives in that manner we bring hope for others. We live in the shadow of darkness of this world, and yet we don't lose hope; but become bringers of hope. Jesus talked about his return, He used the story of Noah to talk about human behaviour. First, when the time comes no human power can stop or prevent it. Second, the force of nature brings terror to every heart and tears to every eye, and that all human beings feel when they are confronted by the force of nature. Those who have faith in Jesus feel like others, but they have something extra, and that is hope in the Lord. In time of terror, the power of faith reveals its strength.  Our hope anchors us in the Lord and we firmly believe that the Lord will never abandon his children. In the story of Noah, God gave Noah enough grace to have hope in God, to go on doing what he needed to do. Noah had the strength and wisdom from God, but he would never rely on his own strength. When human beings have a bit of knowledge they tend to rely on their own strength and knowledge, and believe that their own strength and knowledge can save them in times of need. God has no place in their lives. We are clever enough to learn from our failures and will be better equipped for the future. We are able to take control of natural disasters on a small scale level. Jesus reminds us that there are times human power is powerless to stop what is happening. When it happens  there will be separation. One will be taken away and one remain. We live in the dark, we don't know what happens both for the one taken away or the one who remains. Whatever happens, we live in hope, not in despair.