1st Sunday of Advent Year C - 28/11/2021 - Gospel: Lk 21: 25-28, 34-36
Our mind is moving forward and backward between being fully awake and drowsiness, and in between, is distraction. A mind is able to focus for only a short period of time. If the focus is too long, the mind gets tired and requires relaxation. Alertness in the Bible is less about the work of a mind, but more about how much we love God. It is only in spiritual alertness we need to be ready. The Church annually reminds us to examine our heart at Advent to really know about our faith in Jesus. Alertness of oneself to welcome God is an act of faith. Having faith in Jesus and His teaching means to believe His second coming is certain. Before it happens there will be signs of extraordinary thunder and roaring from above and below. People could have nowhere to hide, but all have to endure the tribulations, and feel powerless before the force of nature.

In the first part of today's Gospel, Jesus called His disciples to stay awake to recognize the signs of His second coming. Recognizing the signs of His second coming is a great blessing. This heavenly blessing is given to those who pray. We pray because we believe in Jesus' words. We pray because we need and love God. Staying awake and praying go hand in hand. Praying helps us stay awake, and staying awake helps us to pray in focus.

In the second part of the Gospel, Jesus told His disciples to stay awake and pray for the strength to survive this challenging time, stay awake and pray to stand with confidence, that Jesus is our Saviour. Every new birth requires some form of chaos to break through before the arrival of a new life. The natural world shows, that a new shoot breaks through soil to have a new life; a chick breaks though its shell to come a free living chick. The sun and moon and stars will lose their lights with much chaos. These signs happen before Jesus' disciples are reborn into God's kingdom.

In His public ministry, Jesus summed up all the commandments into two commands: Love God and love neighbour. The two commandments are simplified to be one single command in God's kingdom- Love God. In God's kingdom, human ambitions cease to exist. There is no need for any kind of mission. All live in God's love, and all are satisfied, and they lack nothing. Everyone enjoys justice and peace. It is a perfect kingdom.

At the universal level, we don't know when the end of the world is going to happen. It may not happen in our time. At an individual level, Advent reminds us that we are not on this earth forever. We will leave this earth one day, and we need to be ready whenever it comes. The end of each individual is certain, and it is wise to be ready. Delay is an unwise option. Whenever it comes we must be ready. Without such preparation we are bogged down by worldly glory, and lose the heavenly inheritance. Furthermore, Jesus' second coming brings deadly fear upon all. For Jesus' disciples His coming brings hope. His second coming makes hope real for His disciples. It is the hope for them to enter God's kingdom. The losing light of the sun, moon and stars is a great fear for us all. No one would escape being shaken before the force of nature, where things are destructive and loss of life is real. To lessen the fear, Jesus told His disciples to stay awake, and pray for the strength to survive. His advice is for everyone, including those who follow the way of the world. If they take heed of His words; they too, can benefit from praying. There is another fear and that is the fear of losing all that they have gathered. The fear of losing their possessions is great, but the fear of losing their own lives is even greater. For Jesus' disciples the greatest fear of all is to lose faith in Christ. Let our hearts desire of God's love.