By Dan Queathem, a parishioner
First Sunday of Advent
November 27, 2016
Put on the Armor of Light (Romans 13:12)
On this First Sunday of Advent, we celebrate a new year in the life of the Church. Our readings seem to ask us, “What ‘new year’s resolutions’ will you make this Advent?” The Church invites us to reflect on our lives and rededicate our minds and hearts to Jesus this Christmas.
In our first reading from Isaiah, we hear, “Come, let us climb the Lord’s mountain… that He may instruct us in His ways and we may walk in His paths” (Is. 2:1-5). Isaiah reminds us that the Christian life is not easy. Like climbing a mountain, it can be difficult and bumpy at times. But the reward is well worth the effort.
In his letter to the Romans, St. Paul challenges us to “throw off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light” (Romans 13:12). With the start of Advent, his exhortation is more urgent than ever. In the most humble manger, our Lord is born to Mary, the virgin of Nazareth. He draws close to us and invites us to follow Him.
In Matthew’s gospel, Jesus exhorts us, “Stay awake! For you do not know on which day your Lord will come” (Mt 24:42). “Wake up,” Jesus cries out to us, “for I am coming to dwell with you. Are you ready to receive me?”
As we begin this new liturgical year, take some time to reflect on your life. Consider what “resolutions” you need to make to prepare your heart for Christ. Is God calling you to pray for 10 extra minutes each day? Has it been a while since your last confession? Is Jesus inviting you to read scripture or to arrive to church early to talk quietly with Him? Maybe He is asking you to serve your family, friends, parish or community in a new way.
In whatever way Jesus is calling you to prepare for His coming this Christmas, do not ignore Him. Listen to Him. Create space in your life for Him. Make your “New Year’s resolutions” this Advent and stick with them. When you do, you will experience the profound joy and lasting peace that come only from “walking in the light of the Lord” (Isaiah 2:5).