HOMILY FOR THE 1ST SUNDAY OF ADVENT YEAR A. (5)







HOMILY FOR THE 1ST SUNDAY OF ADVENT YEAR A.

THEME: DAWN OF A NEW DAY.

BY: Fr. Boniface Ogonna.

 

1st reading. Is 2: 1-5
Resp. Ps. 122
2nd reading. Rom 13:11-14
Gospel. Mtt 24:37-44

Welcome to the first Sunday of Advent in Church’s liturgical calendar, Year A. We all desire peace because it is necessary for our spiritual and material progress. We pray for this peace and expect Jesus, the prince of peace, to bring it to our hearts, families, and world at the end of this season.
Advent comes from two Latin words Ad-Ventus, which means “to arrive,” or Ad-venire, meaning “to come.” For Christians, particularly Catholics, it means expecting the Lord’s coming. Advent marks the beginning of the Church’s new liturgical calendar. It is a four-week preparation period leading up to Christmas.

So, on this first Sunday of Advent, the church urges us to rejoice because that night of long pilgrimage to God’s eternal city of peace will soon be fruitful. The reign of peace is close at hand. Therefore, we must wake up and be ready to receive Christ in our lives, families, and nation. In the first reading, prophet Isaiah says: “We see the mountain of the temple of the Lord, already etched against the Eastern sky.” The prophet uplifts our spirits with his vision of the imminent reign of peace which the Messiah will initiate
The Messiah whom we expect this season comes to us with peace. Though “he will wield authority,” he will not oppress or exploit us. Instead, He shall transform our culture of war into that of peace: “…They shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore.

RELATED: HOMILY FOR THE 1ST SUNDAY OF ADVENT YEAR A.

Despite all the efforts of UN peace still eludes our world under its leadership. Instead of living together in harmony, we see more divisions and breakups of unions and friendships. The reason is quite simple, “international morality, which is the basis of secularism and humanism,” alone without spirituality does not work. Only the reign of Christ in every heart and nation can bring lasting peace.

To usher in this reign of peace successfully, the second reading and the gospel call us to be ready and awake. Paul announces the closeness of our Saviour, the Prince of peace: “Our salvation is even nearer than it was when we were converted.” He also reminds us that: “The time has come.”
The time he means here is not earthly (Chronos) but God’s time (kairos). God’s appointed time is to save his people and restore peace to all troubled hearts, families, businesses, and nations. Hence, Paul advises: “Let us live decently, as people do in the daytime, with no warning or jealousy. Let your amour be the Lord Jesus Christ.”

Finally, the gospel is a wake-up call to all of us Christians. The evangelist admonishes us to: “Stay awake!” It is crucial because this is a season of great awakening, preparation, and expectation of the birth of the Messiah. It is a season that will culminate in an outburst of great joy. It is a season of prayer when all Christians must turn to God in prayer. Therefore, with the psalmist, I pray for all my dear friends, companions, and people of God: “Peace be to your homes! May peace reign in your hearts!”

Have a blessed Sunday celebration.

 

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