Eucharistic Readings for the 1st Sunday of Advent: Year A
Isaiah 2:1-5; Psalm 122; Romans 13:11-14; Matthew 24:36-44
“But about that day and hour no one knows, neither the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father….. Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an unexpected hour.” (Matthew 24: 36 and 44)
According to Douglas Hare writing for Interpretation; a Bible Commentary; on the Gospel of Matthew. “God is postponing the last judgment so that many more might have a chance to hear and accept the Gospel. This is a time for worldwide evangelism.”
To hear and accept the Gospel is reminiscent of the “come and believe” message that we have heard often. It is the bread of coming and the drink of believing. Very often in scripture the same coded message is reconfigured or repackaged with the same lesson. We get this message in Church, or we should.
Perhaps the best message we can both receive and give to others is to, “Try Church again.” Bring a friend to Church. Be that friend who brings someone to Church and when you do, stay with them through the opening readings, prayers and hymns. Stay with them through the liturgy of the Table (Communion). Stay with them at coffee hour. And then invite them back. This is the time for worldwide evangelism!
But wait, there’s more! Now is the time to let people know that they should not be complacent in their good intentions. We need to recognize that there is our God and that our God is good (All the time). God wants all humanity to be saved. God is not a scarce resource. Heaven has the capacity to house all the people of the world and then some. “Red, Yellow, Black and White, we are precious in His sight.” But people need to know it. And you need to tell them. Or, bring them to Church, and we’ll tell them together.
If God is postponing the last judgment as Hare suggests, we have this narrow door to walk through. Each of us should play our part in leading others through the narrow door. We must stay vigilant however to keep our eye on the door. Keep awake therefore, for you do not know on what day our Lord is coming.
Now is our chance to challenge our Lord Jesus! Since we don’t know when our Lord Jesus is coming, we have to be ready all the time. That means living our lives in constant reverence. Our Lord Jesus says he is coming at an unexpected hour. The way to counter that is to make every hour “expected.” So we must expect him all the time, every hour. In this way we show him (our Lord Jesus) that we can be persistent. We can overcome his low expectation of us by expecting the unexpected. And then we can say, “I was expecting you Lord Jesus.”
As we listen to what the Spirit is saying to us, let us live to love and serve, and to teach others to love and serve, while pondering anew what the Almighty can do. John