First Sunday of Advent | Bishop Schlert

Gospel Reading
Jesus said to his disciples:
"As it was in the days of Noah,
so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.
In those days before the flood,
they were eating and drinking,
marrying and giving in marriage,
up to the day that Noah entered the ark.
They did not know until the flood came and carried them all away.
So will it be also at the coming of the Son of Man.
Two men will be out in the field;
one will be taken, and one will be left.
Two women will be grinding at the mill;
one will be taken, and one will be left.
Therefore, stay awake!
For you do not know on which day your Lord will come.
Be sure of this: if the master of the house
had known the hour of night when the thief was coming,
he would have stayed awake
and not let his house be broken into.
So too, you also must be prepared,
for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come."
Mt 24:37-44

Gospel Reflection
Come, Lord Jesus!

Our busy lives keep us moving somewhat mindlessly from one thing to the next in a routine cycle of the responsibilities of work, family life, and other commitments. We too have fallen into a bit of a routine of Ordinary Time and now are shaken awake by the season of Advent just before us.

We can feel a shift, something special is about to begin.

So it was in one of the most notable stories from the Gospel of Saint Luke - the Annunciation of Mary, which the Church celebrates on March 25th, exactly nine months before the Solemnity of the Nativity of our Lord. This passage is a seemingly matter-of-fact account nestled in the beginning of the Gospel of Luke. However, those twelve lines outline the beginnings of our salvation that Mary is to conceive and bear a son through virgin birth and become the Mother of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

On an ordinary day in Mary’s young life in Nazareth, this extraordinary moment happened and changed the course of history. By Mary’s great Fiat (yes) to the Lord’s will, she sets a model of devotion and obedience for what the Lord has asked of her. Her ‘yes’ was a result of obedience, but also of openness to God’s will through faith and courage to go on a journey that she could not quite understand. She placed her trust in the Lord to do His will. To accomplish this, Mary needed to be receptive, she needed to be open to God’s will in her life. A will that was not her own but openly accepted. She was attentive to the promptings of God and willing to respond accordingly.

As we begin this Advent season, may we stay alert to the ways in which God will work in our own lives and how He will call us to say “yes” with faith. May we imitate Mary with our own expectant wonder and anticipation for the joyful season to come. The first candle of Advent reflects our hope in what is to come, a season yet unseen, but filled with promise of how the Lord will bring us to the fullness of His incarnation.

As always, know of my prayers before Jesus in the Most Blessed Sacrament.

+Bishop Schlert

Download the First Week of Advent Calendar by clicking here.


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