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YOUR REDEMPTION IS AT HAND by Fr. Linh

FIRST SUNDAY OF ADVENT – YEAR C

GOSPEL READING: LUKE 21: 25-28, 34-36

YOUR REDEMPTION IS AT HAND

Rev. Linh N. Nguyen

 

INTRODUCTION:

Most of us see Advent simply as a run-up to Christmas. Perhaps, we are counting down the number of shopping days left. Four weeks of preparation in time of Advent is easily slipping away. Yet, it grants us enough time to carefully prepare ourselves spiritually for the celebration of Christmas to come.

 

Symbolically, this four-week Advent season reminds us of the four-thousand year waiting for the salvation of human-beings after the fall of their first ancestors, Adam and Eve. It reminds us of the forty-year journey of the ancient Israelites in the wilderness to the Promised Land. It reminds us of the forty-day period when Jesus was led by his Spirit into the desert to be tempted by Satan before he publicly performed his ministry.

 

Advent is figuratively that sort of time. If you listen carefully to the Scripture readings during Advent you will notice that while they are concerned with the future, they actually talk about the past, and about the present as well.

 

The readings during Advent move between the past, the present, and the future. Sometimes an Advent day’s readings will begin with hopes for the future, then bounce off back to remind us of what we should be doing in the present, and then finish up with things which happened in the past.

 

The Church intends to present readings during Advent in this particular perspective because the feast of Christmas itself involves us with the past, the present, and the future. We are preparing to celebrate a past event – the birth of Christ. Belief in his influences over what we do and say now. We also look forward to the time when Christ will return in glory, when all hopes of the prophets will be realized and our world will be utterly transformed.

 

In sum, the Advent message is about visions and hopes for a renewed world, memories of God’s past actions to rescue people from suffering, to bring them good news, to answer their prayers, and the need for action in the present. All these will appear again and again, interwoven into the proclamation of faith and hope in Jesus.

 

GOSPEL BACKGROUND:

Today’s Gospel reading takes us toward the end of Luke’s Gospel (chapter 21). Jesus is teaching for the last time, and he is teaching about the end of time. It may seem odd to begin the season of Advent hearing about the end of time. Advent means “to come” and it refers to the first and second coming of Christ. Early Christians thought that the “second coming” of Christ was “coming soon.”

 

Jesus said, There will be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars, and on earth nations will be in dismay, perplexed by the roaring of the sea and the waves. People will die of fright in anticipation of what is coming upon the world, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.”

 

Persecutions and natural disasters will cause great sorrow in the world – the people will faint from fear and foreboding. When believers see these events happening, they should realize that the return of their Messiah is near and that they can look forward to his reign of justice and peace. Rather than being terrified by what is happening in the world, believers should confidently await the Lord’s return.

 

But when these signs begin to happen, stand erect and raise your heads because your redemption is at hand.”

 

Believers should confidently await Christ’s return to bring justice and restoration to his people. Here, Jesus gives his disciples this direct command to have courage and hope.

 

That day catch you by surprise like a trap. For that day will assault everyone who lives on the face of the earth.”

 

Jesus told his followers to be careful and not let the temptations or worries of this life distract them from watching and being ready for his return. That day will come unexpectedly, and it will come upon everyone – no exceptions. The choice that each person has already made will determine his or her eternal destiny.

 

Be vigilant at all times and pray that you have the strength to escape the tribulations that are imminent and to stand before the Son of Man.”

 

Prayer is the best way to find the spiritual strength we need to face the future. One of the most traditional and beautiful Advent prayers is “Come, Lord Jesus.”

 

CONCLUSION:

All believers must be ready and alert for Jesus’ return, working for the kingdom, both because they know of the certainty of Christ’s return and because they don’t know when that return will happen. Both watching and praying are vitally necessary actions. Being prepared demonstrates our faith to the ultimate, universal Judge, Jesus Christ, through our good deeds and wholehearted obedience.

 


This article was published on Thursday 26 November, 2009.

Back to main topic: STUDY THE WORD OF GOD
ADULTERY
THIS POOR WIDOW PUT IN MORE THAN ALL THE OTHERS
CHRIST WILL RETURN WITH GREAT POWER AND GLORY
YOU SAY I AM A KING
BASILICAS OF ST. PETER & ST. PAUL
THE KINGSHIP OF JESUS CHRIST
CHRISTMAS
GOD’S PROMISES IN ADVENT
THE ROMAN CATHOLIC UNDERSTANDING OF ECUMENISM
WE NEED ADVENT!
WE SAW HIS STAR AT ITS RISING AND HAVE COME TO DO HIM HOMAGE
EMMANUEL – GOD IS WITH US!
THE BLIND BOY AND HIS SIGN
EPIPHANY
WHEN JESUS HAD BEEN BAPTIZED AND WAS PRAYING, HEAVEN WAS OPENED
ALL FLESH SHALL SEE THE SALVATION OF GOD
“WHAT SHOULD WE DO?”
GOD KNEW ME BEFORE I WAS BORN
GOD IS LOVE
THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION OF THE VIRGIN MARY
“THE MOTHER OF MY LORD SHOULD COME TO ME.”
THE LAST EIGHT DAYS IN THE ADVENT SEASON
HIS PARENTS FOUND JESUS SITTING IN THE MIDST OF THE TEACHERS.
MARY – “MOTHER OF GOD”
WHETHER THE BLESSED VIRGIN SHOULD BE CALLED THE MOTHER OF GOD?
THE BAPTISM OF JESUS
WHETHER THE BAPTISM OF JOHN WAS FROM GOD
WHETHER IT WAS FITTING FOR CHRIST TO BE BAPTIZED WITH JOHN’S BAP
JESUS TURNS WATER TO WINE

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