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Reflections for First Week of Advent

Submitted by: rgsphil
On: 01/12/2014

(Here is the Homily of Fr. Ron Bagley, CJM, during the Eucharistic Celebration at the Good Shepherd Convent, 1043 Aurora Boulevard, Quezon City on November 30, 2014, the First Sunday of Advent.)



Advent Week 1

First Reading: Is 63:16b-17:64:2-7
Second Reading:1 Cor 3-9
Gospel: Mk 13:33-37

1st Sunday of Advent – B

Never put off until tomorrow, what you can do today.

·         Old proverb that fits well with today’s Scripture readings

·         We are challenged to be ready to meet the Lord today and every day

·         We should not put off being prepared

·         That lesson was brought home very vividly to me four years ago

 

At that time I was still living in Tagaytay.

  • A missionary priest who had become a friend of mine died suddenly while swimming at Lubang Island

·         He was the rector of one of the seminaries in Tagaytay

·         All the seminarians from that seminary had gone on an outing to Mindoro

·         While there, one day Fr. Steve went to the beach to go swimming with 2 seminarians

·         Suddenly, as he swam further from the shore, he was pulled by a riptide from below and he drowned

·         Obviously he did not know that this would happen

·         He was an expert swimmer.

·         In fact, he was a trained life guard

·         I would like to think he was prepared to meet the Lord that day but I do not know for sure

·         I never asked him and he never told me

Jesus says in the gospel today:

·         “Be watchful! Be alert!
You do not know when the time will come.

·         He does not say that to scare us

·         He wants us to be awake, to be prepared, to be ready

·         We know not the day nor the hour

We need to ask ourselves an important question:

·         Are we ready to meet the Lord today?

·         Are you ready to stand before the Lord and give an accounting?

·         Is there something I need to do to make myself more ready?

·         Whatever you may be thinking about, do not put it off until tomorrow

·         Do it today.

Think of the various areas of life.

Concerning your relationship with the Lord:

·         Is there something you have been meaning to do to strengthen your relationship with the Lord?

·         Do you want to be more faithful in your prayer life?

·         Have you been meaning to make a regular time for personal prayer?

·         Do you want to make the Lord more a part of your daily life?

·         Is there some sin or fault or habit that you have been wanting to change?

·         Do it today.

Concerning your family life:

·         What have you been meaning to do to strengthen your family life?

·         Have you wanted to spend more time together as a family?

·         Is there a broken relationship that needs to be healed?

·         Young people, do you need to forgive your parents for something they have done?

·         Or parents, do you need to forgive your children for something?

·         Have you been wanting to open up the lines of communication among your family members?

·         Do it today.

I heard a story recently about a person who was estranged from a family member.

·         There was a major disagreement and a big rift occurred

·         She remained angry at her family member for a long time

·         But eventually her heart began to soften

·         She began to think that it is more important to be reconciled than to carry a grudge

·         Unfortunately, the family member had become sick and lapsed into a coma

·         She went to the bedside and whispered her words in the ear of her family member

·         She was not sure if her message was heard

·         Perhaps she waited too long

·         Never put off until tomorrow, what you can do today.

Another area of life would be our workplace or the places we do business:

·         Are there changes you want to make in the way you deal with people?

·         Do you need to be more honest, more courteous, more charitable, more patient, etc.?

·         Do it today.

·         Never put off until tomorrow, what you can do today.

What about you students?

  • Do you need to be kinder to your classmates or more respectful to your teachers?
  • Do you need to be more tolerant of those who are different from you?
  • Do you want to stop picking on certain people and making them the object of your jokes?
  • Do you need to put more effort into your school work?
  • If you know you should, then do it now.

The message of today’s readings is simple and to the point: Do it now!

  • Do not put off making the necessary changes
  • Make them today
  • Tomorrow may be too late