Is. 63:16b-17; 1Cor 1:3-9; Mk 13:33-37
OTHER HOMILY SOURCES:
1st Sunday of Advent
Isaiah 63:16-17; 63:1, 3-6
1 Corinthians 1:3-9
Fr Munachi E. Ezeogu cssp
Here is a quiz for you. You are sleeping. You are dreaming. A big lion is chasing you. You try to run away and you see a tiger coming in front of you. You turn sideways, but every side you turn to, you find a ferocious animal coming after you. How can you escape? The answer is: Wake up.
By waking up one enters a whole new world of reality, different from that of the dream world. What was a huge problem in the dream state becomes a non-issue in the waking state. Dream state concerns and priorities lose their importance and new concerns and priorities take their place. For example, you discover that your problem is no longer how to escape from wild beasts but how to beat the morning rush and arrive early for work. We can relate to the change that occurs between a dream consciousness and a wake consciousness. A similar and even more significant change occurs when we move from a state of being spiritually asleep to that of being spiritually awake, when the soul is awake and alert to spiritual reality.
In today’s gospel Jesus admonishes and encourages his followers to remain alert in the spirit. He was about to leave them for an uncertain length of time. By their faith and commitment to Jesus, his followers are like people who have roused themselves from spiritual slumber. But the time of his absence would be a time of trial for their faith life when they would be tempted to doze off. He enjoins them to remain awake and watchful so that whenever he comes to them he would find them not sleeping but watching in faith, ready to welcome him.
Today we enter the season of Advent: a time of special preparation for the coming of the Lord. Mark’s portrait of the doorman watching out to open for the Lord whenever he “suddenly” appears is an image of what we are expected to be doing all year long but especially during the season of Advent. The doorman keeps awake in order to recognize and welcome the Lord at his coming. Faith, likewise, transforms us into people who are able to recognize the Lord and willing to receive him. Recognition is crucial because the Lord does not always come in easily recognizable ways. At Bethlehem he came in the form of a baby and people did not recognize him. In the Parable of the Last Judgment, which we heard last Sunday, he said he came to people in the form of the most needy and disadvantaged of this world and many did not recognize him. But true people of faith did recognize him and serve him in these people who live in the blind-spot of society. Faith is first a way of seeing, and then a way of living.
The “wicked” who were consigned to hell in the Last Judgment were probably waiting for the final coming of the Lord and failed to recognize him in his day-to-day coming. The shocker in that parable is that Christ comes into our lives in the form of the ordinary people and events of our everyday lives. We need to be awake in faith to recognize and serve Christ in these commonplace and routine encounters since it will do us no good to recognize him on the Last Day if we have not recognized and served him day by day.
Before we conclude, let us say a word about Jesus’ saying “But about that day or hour no one knows, neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father” (Mark 13:32). This saying can be understood literally to mean that Jesus did not know the date of the end of the world. It can also be understood as a strategy meant to discourage the disciples from further inquiry into the matter. In either case the implication for us is the same: Put an end to idle speculations regarding the date of the Last Day. Open your eyes in faith to see God present and active in your life and in your world. Open your heart and your house to the Lord who comes to you daily in the form of the needy man or woman. This is the best way to prepare to welcome the Lord when he comes on the Last Day.
Homily for 1st Sunday of Advent – Epistle
By Fr Munachi E. Ezeogu cssp
Waiting for the Coming of Our Lord Jesus Christ
Isaiah 63:16-17; 63:1, 3-6
1 Corinthians 1:3-9
Before performing a baptism, the priest approaches the young father and said solemnly, “Baptism is a serious step. Are you prepared for it?”
“I think so,” the man replied. “My wife has made appetizers and we have a caterer coming to provide plenty of cookies and cakes for all of our guests.”
“I don’t mean that,” the priest responded. “I mean, are you prepared spiritually?”
“Oh, sure,” came the reply. “I’ve got a keg of beer and a case of whiskey.”
We may laugh at the young man, but the way many of us today prepare for the coming of the Lord at Christmas is not much different from the way the man prepared for baptism.
The season of Advent is a time for Christians to prepare for the coming of the Lord. Actually we remember three of comings of the Lord. First, we celebrate something that happened in the past, namely, the birth of the Messiah into the world which took place more than 2000 years ago. Secondly, we prepare for something that will happen in the future, namely, the Second Coming of Christ at the end of time to judge the living and the dead. And thirdly, we celebrate something that happens in the present, namely, the many moments of grace which are occasions for the Lord to come into the lives of Christians, into our souls as individual believers and in our midst as the community of the people of God.
Unfortunately, our preparation for Christmas is often a very material affair. For too many of us, Advent is the ultimate shopping season. We shop for gifts, for toys, for special food and drinks. Advent has become a time for overly material concerns, as we make sure we are not lacking in any gift item or toy, or food or drink for the celebration of Christmas. How sharply our attitude contrasts with that of the early Christians to whom Paul writes in the 2nd reading, “so that you are not lacking in any spiritual gift as you wait for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 1:7).
While we hurry to stack up on material gifts, Paul advises his congregation to stack up on spiritual gifts. Later on in the same epistle (1 Corinthians 12), Paul enumerates the spiritual gifts, which include wisdom, knowledge, faith, healing, workings of miracles, prophecy, discerning of spirits, speaking in tongues, and the interpretation of tongues. He, however, advises them to positively cultivate the higher gifts or faith, hope and love (1 Corinthians 12:31). How are we stacking up on the gifts of faith, hope and love? At the coming of the Lord, it is the gifts of faith, hope and love that matter before any other. Giving and receiving material gifts is definitely important, but this should be a token of true love and not a casual act of civility or a show of affluence.
In the same vein, Paul gives thanks to God that the Christians of Corinth have been enriched in every way in Christ. When we hear that today, the first thing that comes to our minds is material wealth. But that is not what Paul has in mind. What Paul has in mind is that the Corinthians have been enriched in their knowledge and eloquence in bearing witness to Christ: “for in every way you have been enriched in him, in speech and knowledge of every kind – just as the testimony of Christ has been strengthened among you” (1 Corinthians 1:5-6).
As today we enter the season of Advent and countdown to Christmas, the Church reminds us that the celebration of Christmas is essentially a spiritual affair. Let us not forget this as we run about in the hustle and bustle of Christmas shopping and preparation, “so that you may be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 1:8).
1st Sunday Advent – Cycle B
Homily # 1
What is it about Advent that makes this time special? Preparation for Christmas is one thing, but that’s not all. Advent gives us a vision of our lives as Christians. Advent shows us the possibilities of life.
Life is a continuous journey through time. A journey in cycles, like waves of the ocean, tides high and low and high again, on and on. In life there are times of high intensity, and times of consolidation where experiences sink in before the next high. One could never survive on high’s or lows alone. These cycles are seen in all aspects of life. Religious experiences and development, deepening of faith is no different. There are intense times, revelations, conversion, renewal, when our eyes are opened and our senses stirred – and then times of consolidation.
Church liturgy clearly shows such a journey in faith, with a full cycle covering three years and then it is repeated. Each liturgical year takes a look at seasons and scripture from different view points while still following a cycle of high intensity and consolidation of experiences.
Today is the 1st Sunday of Advent year cycle B. It gives us a new start; we look back on the first coming of Christ at Bethlehem as a high point and we looks to the future when Christ will come again – the ultimate high! In the interval between these two events we find meaning for our life as a Christian. The season of Advent brings us the magnificent vision of life, and hope for the future given to us by Christ. Advent is the connection between memory and hope which is so necessary in our lives.
We remember “Christ-become-human”. We view his life and experience his presence as a human being in our history, showing us what life can and should be – and we hope for the future he promises, the perfect and complete community, humanity enfolded in God’s love.
Pope Benedict in his reflection on Advent [Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, “Seek That Which Is Above, 1986 …. Memory Awakens Hope”] wrote:
“Advent is concerned with that very connection between memory and hope which is so necessary to man. Advent’s intention is to awaken the most profound and basic emotional memory within us, namely, the memory of the God who became a child. This is a healing memory; it brings hope. The purpose of the Church’s year is continually to rehearse her great history of memories, to awaken the heart’s memory so that it can discern the star of hope…. It is the beautiful task of Advent to awaken in all of us, memories of goodness and thus to open doors of hope.”
The concept of continually rehearsing the great history of memories is a very valuable one. So often one hears “ I know the stories” “Heard them all before”, and even “There is plenty of time for that later”. But one only really learns to appreciate things by continually rehearsing them. By rehearsal, one actually delves deeper, gains deeper insight. By rehearsing the great history one discovers the pearl. I mentioned earlier, “Life is a continuous journey through time – A journey in cycles, like waves of the ocean”.
Journey to a place for the first time and you might be lucky and you might see some attraction. Journey there again and you find things you never saw before. Repeat the journey over and over and you get to know the place, the people, the inner beauty. What a pity some only visit “God who became a child” in high season and never give themselves a chance to find God their creator, father and friend.
It is only as we experience the full cycle, beginning with unbridled joy in Advent – joy that slowly fades into the realization of what we have done and to the Christ, that the awful reality of Good Friday can have its full impact. And in that realization we can finally be ready to hear the Good News on Resurrection Sunday!
That is the journey that the disciples took. And so there is value in taking the same journey – beginning with the anticipation and joy of Advent! It is for us a journey of life.
Why not accept the challenge today, not only to wake up to the joy of Advent – but to stay awake and continuously rehearse the experiences, over and over, and allow yourselves to be moulded by the potter, and glazed into a wonder of creation.
Homily # 2
The passage from the first reading (Isaiah) has as its context Israel in Palestine after the Babylonian exile. The people are in desperate straits and the author expresses himself in a lament. God is invoked as “Lord”, a word which emphasizes an expectation of benevolent treatment. The title “Father” heightens this expectation. Israel is conscious of its guilt, but conscious too that God can come down from heaven and set things right, as He did for His people during the Exodus when He came down and blessed the people with His presence on Sinai. The author is aware of the people’s guilt, but stresses that God’s supreme power can refashion Israel as He wishes, just as a potter fashions clay as he likes.
The responsorial psalm emphasizes the sorry plight of Israel. God’s might is appealed to: only He can remedy the situation. Israel is referred to as a vine which needs constant care from its Lord. Help is asked for a leader of Israel. Reform is promised.
In the passage in 1 Corinthians Paul thanks God for the gift of Christ and for the leaders of the Christians who have given witness to Christ. Paul is waiting for the “Day of the Lord” which is an Old Testament phrase used now of Christ and indicating belief in Christ’s divinity. On the “Day of Our Lord Jesus Christ” Christ will reveal Himself in power for the definitive salvation of His people. The passage ends with Paul referring to the “calling” of the Christians by God. The term is a technical one and refers to God’s summons to take a special part in the drama of salvation as followers of His Son.
In the gospel Our Lord uses the example of a master of a household who has gone on a journey. The servants of the master have not been informed as to the exact time when he is to return. Hence they must be vigilant if they are not to be unpleasantly surprised by his return. The master, is, of course, Christ, and the servants are the leaders of the Church, with the chief servant presented as the doorkeeper who has the solemn responsibility of allowing or refusing entrance into the master’s dwelling.
God is speaking to us in these biblical passages. But to understand what He is saying we have to translate the passages in question from the times in which they were written to our own times. We do this by assessing the religious meaning of the passages in their original context and see what the implications of this original meaning are for us today.
From the passage in Isaiah we learn that Israel in a time of great need thinks of its sinfulness but above all thinks of God as Father who is able to rescue Israel from its current disaster. He is almighty and can shape Israel and events anew just as a potter shapes his pottery.
In the responsorial psalm this plea for help is renewed, with the plea that the leader of Israel be strengthened.
Paul looks forward to the New Testament “Day of the Lord” when the Lord Jesus will be revealed in His omnipotence to rescue those whom He has called. In the gospel we are told to be vigilant if we want to receive the Lord when He comes.
Translating these ideas into contemporary terms for the Church is not difficult. As Catholics we in the United States are faced with great difficulties at the moment, a crisis with regard to the behavior of many of the Church’s leaders. Further, we are faced with difficulties of living peacefully in the face of attacks from enemies from within and without. While recognizing our sinfulness we are mindful above all of God’s omnipotence and His ability to shape events as He wills. We are trusting in His Son to come and deliver us from evil. But we are also aware that we must be vigilant in our waiting for the Son lest we be ill-prepared for His arrival. Perhaps He will come and we will not even see Him. Vigilance here demands moral sensitivity: if we are not in tune with God’s will in what we do we may well miss signs of Christ’s presence in our lives.
At the beginning of this season of Advent the Church’s liturgy calls on her children to be vigilant, mindful of the constant need of contrition if we are to be prepared to recognize Christ when He comes. But above all the Church calls on us to be trusting, for God our Father can and will act in His own time. Thus the Church would have us prepare ourselves as a people and as individuals for the coming of Jesus at Bethlehem in this year of the Lord 2002.
By Fr. Jerry Orbos
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 00:34:00 11/30/2008
FOOD cholesterol alert per 100 grams, according to a text message I received: egg white—0; sea cucumber—0; lapu-lapu—4.1; cow’s milk—6.5; dilis—19; human milk—19.7; clams—20; tilapia—21.1; cheese—33.8; eel—40.1; sardines—40.5; ice-cream—45; bangus—51.8; shrimps—52.8; squid—56; chocolate—56; chicken with skin—62.9; beef—64.6; pork—68.8; crabs—72.5; galunggong—73.6; bagoong—7.8; prawns—89; ham—100; lengua—100.6; pigeon—110; pig liver—190.0; lobsters—200; balut—515.2; egg yolk—731.6; quail egg yolk—932.2; pig brain—1,643.6.
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Health advisories such as the one above should cause us to be alarmed. But today’s gospel message (Mk. 13, 33-37) should cause us to be more alarmed, especially because it deals not only with our physical wellbeing, but also with the salvation of our very souls. Like any advisory, we should not take lightly today’s gospel message about being ready for death anytime and being watchful and alert.
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Today is the beginning of Advent, that time of the Liturgical year wherein the Church reminds us to be vigilant, watchful and hopeful as we prepare for the birthday of our Lord Jesus Christ. On this first Sunday of Advent, we are warned that everything will end. This is a very timely reminder especially for those who continue to believe that they can extend, prolong or perpetuate their worldly pursuit of power, fame, riches and glory, even at the expense of other people and God Himself. The message is simple, loud and clear: Mamamatay ka rin (You too will die)!
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We all will die. Period. When will we die? Your guess is as good as mine. It amazes me when I see people become so tenacious to worldly power and riches even at the expense of their principles and of their very souls. They become so engrossed in their worldly pursuits to the very end without thought of legacy to this world and of eternity on hold. Indeed, why do some people hold on to this life which they can not prolong, and lose sight of eternity which they cannot escape from? Advent reminds us: All your efforts, all your achievements—for whom? For what?
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I have no admiration, but only pity for those who “progress” in this life with their evil ways and schemes. They know what is right and wrong. They know they are lying and they will die soon. And yet they continue to make a pig out of themselves in their insatiable thirst for money, power and pleasures. Pity those who live comfortable lives at the expense of others. Pity those who enjoy the limelight but are haunted with so much darkness in their lives. Pity those who beam out smiles of confidence, but are so gripped with fears deep inside. Pity those who throw their weight around, but know that they weigh nothing in God’s eyes. Pity them! Pity ourselves when we have lost sight of eternity and have made this world our home, our fortress, our sanctuary.
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We all have fears. For all we know, the bravest among us have fears. And the most powerful and the richest among us have double fears. A life free from fears, a heart free from guilt, a mind free from worries are better than a life filled with fears or heart so full of guilt, and a mind so distressed with worries and anxieties.
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In everything, think of death, and you will not sin, and consequently, you will not have to live a fearful life, a guilty heart, and an anxious mind.
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Today is the Sunday for the handicapped. They should put us to shame, they who have so little and yet try to do so much, in contrast to us who have so much and do so much harm or so little service to people around us. Indeed, to whom much is given, much is required. Take note of this, especially those of you who lead us and govern us.
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May it never be said of us that when our country and our people needed our involvement most, we were crippled by favor or fear, that we did not lift a finger to stop the abuse and corruption that have become a cancer in our society. Or that we have become cynical and hopeless about the situation. In this fight between darkness and light, deceit and truth, money and God, which side are you on?
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Soon it will be Christmas. These are hard times we are living in. More so for the many countless suffering people around us. Extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures. Perhaps we all can dig deeper into our pockets when we give this Christmas. Ask the Lord today what He asks of you in preparation for His coming birthday.
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The bottom line is, at the end of our lives may we be able to tell God in earnest: Lord, you know me, you know my sins, and you know Lord that I really tried my best to love you too in my lifetime and to the best of my ability; and I did not do harm or injustice to anyone.
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A good friend of mind, Judge Peter Santiago once told me that if a lot of people are cursing you while you are still alive and long after you have died, then you know you have not lived a good life.
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A moment with the Lord:
Lord, help me to live in such a way that death will not be a threat but a smile. Amen.
By FR. BEL R. SAN LUIS, SVD
November 25, 2011, 11:06pm
MANILA, Philippines — When the ancient Roman city of Pompei was destroyed by the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in 79 AD, there were many people buried in the ruins who were afterwards found in various positions. Some were found in deep vaults, as if they had gone there for protection.
Others were found in lofty chambers. But they found the Roman sentinel standing at the city gate where he had been assigned by his captain, with his hand still grasping his spear.
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Today is the first Sunday of ADVENT, the beginning of the church’s liturgical calendar. And the call is “be watchful;” “be alert.” You do not know when the lord of the house will come. He may find you sleeping (Mark 13:35).
The message does not mean that we are literally in state of dormition – although some people are perennially in that state! It means rather that we are awake and watchful for the coming of the Lord doing our duties and responsibilities faithfully, like that Roman sentinel did.
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As we enter the church’s New Year, we would do well to pause and ponder where our life is heading to. Am I making any spiritual progress or am I retrogressing? Or making a change for the better or for the worse?
MORAL CONVERSION. A story is told about an escaped convict from Devil’s Island, the penal colony off the French Guiana coast. The man was sentenced to life imprisonment in connection with a murder in Marseilles. While in prison, he suffered remorse of conscience for his crime and in reparation, since he was a doctor, he devoted the remaining years of his life to curing the sick on the island.
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When he died at 72, several hundred people gathered to pay their last respects to the man who had done so much to heal their physical illnesses.
From a murderer, he became a healer and a hero. This true story illustrates how we, too, can rise from our sinful past and live a worthwhile life. And it happened because the man woke up to the call of renewal from within.
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There is no real transformation in society unless there is an inner personal transformation. For whatever is wrong with society is the accumulated result of whatever is wrong with the people who compose it.
Who fight senseless wars, who kill and steal, who pollute our environment and denude our forests? Society doesn’t do it, people do.
Hence, if more and more individuals change for the better, then society will likewise change for the better.
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The word Advent comes from the Latin word ADVENTUM which means literally “coming.” May Advent not only refer to the coming of Sta. Claus, Christmas bonuses, sumptuous parties, and gift-giving but more especially OUR coming to the Lord through moral transformation.
1st SUNDAY OF ADVENT: NEED FOR WATCHFULNESS
THE FIRST SUNDAY of Advent marks the start of a new Church year. It reminds us that we have to make preparations for a deeper meaning of what Christmas is all about. God’s presence among his people and his coming on Christmas Day bring us hope and encouragement amidst life’s struggles and troubles. But let us be reminded that that the coming of God does not only refer to his First Coming, but also to his Second Coming. While we prepare for the coming of God at Christmas, let us also be forward-looking by considering the eschatological event, that is, his Second Coming.
In our gospel today, Jesus exhorts his disciples to be watchful and to be alert. He is about to leave his disciples, and he describes his departure to “a man traveling abroad”. The master is going to leave and one thing is certain, that he would return. Now, the exhortation of Jesus has something to do with his future return which is certain. Let us reflect on the instruction of Jesus as well as to the master in the gospel parable.
First, Jesus instructs his disciples the need for watchfulness. He says, “Be watchful! Be alert!” Jesus gives us the reason of the need to be watchful. It is so because “we do not know when the lord of the house is coming”. It may be in the morning, evening, midnight or dawn. We can cite the time of death as an example. Some people die in the “morning” of their life, while some during the “evening” of their life. Often death strikes us at the hour that we are not ready. It has been said that more and more people nowadays have less time of sleep. They have more time being awake. What contributes to this is the emergence and presence of the jobs which require employees to work at night, like call centers. But does this mean that more and more people are “watchful” because of the fact that they are “awake”? Well, watchfulness or alertness is an attitude that one should develop in one’s life. Certainly, there are people who are awake, but not watchful.
Second, Jesus tells about the importance of being “in charge” of something. The gospel tells us that the master “places his servants in charge, each with his own work”. To be in charge carries a number of meanings: to be in command, in control, and responsible. This is actually the meaning of watchfulness. This situation can be compared to people who leave the country and work in a foreign country. If the father of the family leaves, then the mother is in charge of the children. If both parents leave, a custodian is in charge of the children. As Christians, we know our responsibilities. To accept Christ, through baptism, entails duties and responsibilities. These include going to Mass on Sundays regularly, receiving other sacraments with frequency, constancy in prayer, educating children in the faith etc. But not all of us take these responsibilities more seriously. Therefore, our spiritual watchfulness suffers, and our following of Christ is being compromised.
Third, let us take note of the emphasis on the “gatekeeper” to be on the watch on the master’s return. The gatekeeper has the greater responsibility compared to others. But we may ask this question, what is the purpose of giving responsibilities, works or assignments to other servants? Are their assignments less important compared to the gatekeeper or doorkeeper? Let’s go back to my example above. The mother or a custodian is considered as the “doorkeeper” upon the father’s return. However, we cannot deny the fact that not all mothers and custodians have been responsible in their work. In fact, there are fathers, working outside the country for years, who are frustrated upon their return because children became unruly, undisciplined and irresponsible. They are not serious in their studies, so, they were not able to graduate at a time that they should.
So, the words of Jesus toward the end of the gospel are worth reflecting: “What I say to you, I say to all: ‘Watch!’” Therefore, in the family, all members (not only the mother or custodian) should be responsible in their assignment in the absence of the father. Experience tells us that mothers alone cannot be in full charge, but she needs the assistance of children to do things that are expected by the father. In the same way, all Christians need to be responsible and to be watchful.
ADBIYENTO… KAPANABIKAN HUWAG KATAKUTAN: Reflection for 1st Sunday of Advent Year B – November 23, 2014 – YEAR OF THE POOR
Katatapos lamang ng pagdiriwang ng Kristong Hari na kung saan ay pinaalalahanan tayo na lahat ay may simula at katapusan. Kung kinatatakutan natin ang katapusan ng panahon ay mayroon pa tayong mas higit na dapat katakutan… ang pagsisimula ng panahon ng Adbiyento. Bakit? Tanungin mo ang sarili mo: “May pera ka na ba?” Kung ang sagot mo ay “wala pa”, aba… dapat matakot ka na sapagkat malapit na ang Pasko! hehe… Dapat paghandaan mo na ang pagdating ng Pasko. Hindi puwede ang tatamad-tamad at pa-easy-easy lang! Mayroong isang katulong na nadatnan ng kanyang kapwa katulong na nanonood ng TV na nakataas pa ang paa sa sofa. Ang pinapanood niya? Tama ang iniisip ninyo… Bagito! Sinigawan siya ng kanyang kapwa katulong: “Hoy Inday! Anung ginagawa mo d’yan at nanonood ka lang ng TV?” Ang sagot ni Inday: “Eh kasi, kabilin-bilinan ni Mam, wag na wag daw niya akong matatagpuan sa kanyang pagdating na walang ginagawa… kaya eto… nanonood ako!” hehehe… Me katwiran nga naman si Inday. At least, meron siyang ginagawa! Tayo ay nasa unang Linggo na ng Adbiyento. Naghuhudyat ito na tayo ay nasa kapanahunan na ng paghahanda sa pagdating ng Pasko. Ang unang Linggo ng Adbiyento ay nagpapaalala sa ating maghanda! “Mag-ingat kayo at maging handa sapagkat hindi ninyo alam kung kailan ang takdang oras,” ang sabi ni Hesus sa Ebanghelyo. Ang Adbiyento ay hindi lang paghahanda para sa Pasko. Ang kapaskuhan ay ang paggunita sa Diyos na dumating na noong Siya ay nagkatawang tao. Mas dapat nating paghandaan ang muling pagbabalik ni Hesus na hindi natin alam ang araw at oras. “Maging handa kayong lagi, sapagka’t hindi ninyo alam kung kailan darating ang puno ng sambahayan – maaaring sa pagdilim, sa hatinggabi, sa madaling-araw, o kaya’y sa umaga – baka sa kanyang biglang pagdating ay maratnan kayong natutulog.” Kapag patuloy tayo sa ating masasamang pag-uugali tulad ng katamaran, kayabangan, katakawan, kalaswaan ng pag-uugali, pagiging maramot at makasarili, pagsasayang ng oras, pang-aapi at pagsasamantala sa kapwa… ay masasabi nating hindi pa tayo handa sa kanyang biglaang pagdating! Wala tayong pinagkaiba kay Inday na may ginagawa nga ngunit hindi naman ang nararapat niyang gawin. May isang kasabihang latin na maaring makatulong sa ating paghahanda: “Age quod agis!” Sa ingles, “Do what you are supposed to do!” Kung isasabuhay lamang natin ito ay marami tayong maiiwasang pagkakamali. Kung ginagawa lamang natin ang dapat nating gawin ay malalayo tayo sa pagkakasala. Sa pagdiriwang na ito ng Unang Linggo ng Adbiyento ay gawin natin ang dapat nating gawin. Unti-untiing tanggalin ang masasamang pag-uugali at pag-ukulan ng pansin ang pagpapakabuti at pagtulong sa kapwa. Sa ganitong paraan ay hindi lang Pasko ang pinaghahandaan mo kundi pati na rin ang muling pagbabalik ni Kristo! Sinisimulan din natin sa Unang Linggo ng Adbiyentong ito ang “Taon ng Mahihirap” o “Year of the Poor”. Nagpapaalala ito sa atin na hindi natin dapat balewalain ang kalagayan ng mga mahihirap sapagkat ang Diyos mismo ay may pagtatangi sa kanila. Ituon natin sa kanila ang mga kabutihang nais natin gawin ngayong panahon ng Adbiyento sapagkat tayo rin ay Simbahan ng mga mahihirap. Hindi lang pagtulong ngunit pakikiisa rin sa kanilang abang kalagayan ang maari nating iparamdam sa kanila. Sa totoo lang ay hindi naman dapat katakutan ang pagdating ng Adbiyento. Dapat pa nga nating kapanabikan ang pagsapit nito sapagkat binibigyan nito tayo ng pagkakataong maging tulay ng kabutihan sa iba. Ang Adbiyento kinpapanabikan hindi kinatatakutan!
Ipinaskil ni kalakbay ng kabataan
See Today’s Readings: Cycle B
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