Last Updated:Saturday - 12/11/2010
November 26, 2007
Be attentive to the word of God in our lives
Scripture For Advent
This week is the first week of Advent. The Church has begun her new liturgical year. It is a time of hope and expectation for the future days, weeks and months, since we never know what a new year will bring.
The readings this week serve as a manual for us to prepare for whatever comes our way.
Isaiah, in the First Reading, is looking forward to the time when the people will journey to the house of the Lord. He is sure that this is the goal of their existence.
ONWARD AND UPWARD
The trip to their destination is ongoing and upward. The movement of the people is two-fold - the people will continually go up to the city and then they will go back down to their homes after receiving instruction from the Lord and they will be instruments of peace and positive growth in society.
The psalmist also speaks about the people who are heading to Jerusalem too, but it is not a future event. It is in the here and now. He recalls how he was invited by some unidentified person to go up to the house of the Lord.
The one issuing the invitation presumes that this is a good thing, since he doesn't ask the psalmist if he wants to go with him, he just says "Let us go" (v.1). He presumes the psalmist is ready and willing to set off for Jerusalem.
It is clear by the second verse of the Psalm that the psalmist did readily accept the invitation since he is says "Our feet are standing within your gates, O Jerusalem" (v.2).
The psalmist once there, begins to pray for peace, religious peace, political peace, peace for his relatives and friends. The psalmist is aware that things need to change in the world around him.
Change is also what the New Testament readings say to us today. Paul exhorts the Romans to wake from their sleep. A new era of light is upon them. He calls them to change their ways so as to be ready to meet the Lord.
Matthew's Gospel message is like Paul's in the way that he too prepares his audience for the coming of the Lord, whom he calls, the Son of Man. For Matthew, the arrival of the Lord will come at an unexpected time, so the people must be awake and ready.
PILGRIMAGE TO HEAVEN
So, the readings this Sunday invoke us to be aware that we are all called to be part of the pilgrimage to the holy land, to the new Jerusalem, that is, heaven.
To be successful, we need to be attentive to the word of God in our lives and to see how a prayerful integration of this will transform and strengthen us, and those around us, with the inevitable result of peace.
We can do our bit to ensure that we make every effort to make this peace a reality this Advent, by inviting all that we meet to join us on our spiritual journey. This will help all to be better able to cope with whatever life brings us and so that when we eventually encounter Christ, we will be ever ready to embrace him.
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