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Saturday, 1 December 2012

Reflection/Homily: First (1st) Sunday of Advent Year C (December 2 2012)

Theme: The Second Coming of Christ

Towards the year 2000, there were great speculations that the second coming of Christ would take place bringing the world to an end after three days of darkness. This made several persons live good moral lives. Unfortunately, the speculations were not true and many went back to sin and many more became less interested in the second coming of Christ and saw it as a fairy tale.

This was similar to the condition of the early Christians to whom Luke wrote. It was widely believed among the early Christians that the fall of Jerusalem and the destruction of the temple would coincide with the second coming of Christ and the end of the world. Unfortunately, Jerusalem was conquered and the temple was destroyed yet the world continued to exist. Disappointed as the early Christians were in their crises of faith, they gave up their belief in the second coming of Christ and began to indulge in earthly pleasures and moral laxity.

For this reason, St. Luke in presenting the gospel to them as we saw in the gospel reading (Luke 21:25–28, 34–36) reiterates the teachings of Christ about the second coming and advised them to be on their guard so as not to “be coarsened with debauchery, drunkenness and the cares of life so that the day of the Lord will not take them by surprise”.

Though the gospel reading originally addressed the early Christians, it also addresses us and has several implications for us. We also live in a world where though there are several predictions about the second coming of Christ, people still live with moral laxity as if the world would never come to an end.  Today’s message is to get us prepared and disposed to anticipate and welcome the Lord whenever and however He comes. The emphasis now should not be on when or how (manner) He will come but on how prepared we are to meet Him.

As we are launched into the season of Advent today, the Church is going to make us more disposed and prepared to meet Jesus in our lives both as a new born King and as the judge of heaven and earth. As the first reading (Jer. 33:14–16)  points out, we are in a period of expectation, expecting the fulfillment of the promise God made to the house of Israel and the house of Judah “to make a virtuous Branch grow for David”. This virtuous branch is Jesus and He will practice honesty and integrity in the land.

This is a promise made out of God’s love for us which we are expected to reciprocate. That is why St. Paul exhorts us in the second reading (1 Thess. 3:12 - 4:2), to love one another. Advent should be a period of showing love both to the God who is coming to save us and to our brothers and sisters. This love will now help us to “make more and more progress in the kind of life that we are meant to live:  the life that God wants”. This love will enable us prepare for the second coming of Christ who has loved us and through it, “God will confirm our hearts in holiness that we may be blameless in the sight of our God and Father when our Lord Jesus Christ comes with all his saints”. God loves you.

Nota Bene: Rejoice with me and thank God for me as I celebrate the one year anniversary of this initiative (Uwakwe Reflections). Find the beginning of the story here.  

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