Advent has two functions, that of remembering Jesus’ first coming, that of Emmanuel, God with us, and that of preparing us for his definitive coming, which will be at the end of time, to Parusia!
Father César Augusto, SJ – Vatican News
The Grace of God blesses us with a new journey through the liturgical year, where we will be able to receive graces on graces, further deepening our journey towards the establishment of the Kingdom of God, Kingdom of Justice, Love and Peace. As if walking on a spiral , we will pass over the same mysteries again, but in a deeper way than at other times and experiencing the Lord’s action in our time.
We start with Advent, which has two functions, that of remembering Jesus’ first coming, that of Emmanuel, God with us, and that of preparing for his definitive coming, which will be at the end of time, to Parusia!
The first reading, taken from Isaiah 63.16 – 17.19; 64, 2 – 7, reports a prayer in which the faithful complain to God of their own mistakes as a consequence of the absence of His grace. If God had not departed from him, he would continue to fear the Lord. And he goes on to say that with the presence of the Lord, the difficulties dissipate, the joy is present and the human being does not become a hostage to evil, He concludes by saying that we are clay and He, our potter, we are all works of his hands. What a beautiful prayer to start the Time of the Advent, in which we declare that without the presence of the Lord we are killed, we do not do good, we have no joy, we sin! Do we feel that way and want to start all over again, letting the Lord be our Guide, our Light, our Father? This is the right moment to lead us to holiness, that is, brotherhood, to the recognition that we are children of the same Father. Psalm 80 (79) with its refrain “Make your face shine, and we will be saved!” it presents us with exactly the opposite attitude to Adam and Eve, who, after sin, fled the face of God (Gen 3: 8-10).
The Gospel, Mc 13, 33-37, speaks of watching. We must be attentive, always! The Lord is apparently absent, but we know that He is omnipresent. Therefore, his apparent absence should not allow us to have an attitude of relaxation, but he suggests that we always remain alert, not tense, but alert. We know that the Lord is our friend and wants our good; it will not bring us an unpleasant surprise, but its arrival, already announced, should lead us to a constant attitude of attentive expectation, because our savior, our redeemer, will arrive at any time and we want to be awake to welcome you! How good it is to love and feel loved!
When we expect a loved one, we embellish people and home; the streets are decorated, everything breathes satisfaction, everything expresses joy! Our indigenous people adorned the place where the visit would land and decorated the way to the hollow where they would stay. Songs and dances were part of the “etiquette” of receiving. How will our Advent this year be? The pandemic cannot be an excuse to relax. Following the health protocols, which should not be forgotten, we will be able to demonstrate our joy in receiving the Lord, who is already present in the poor, the small, the marginalized, the suffering, everywhere! More, wanting to please the Lord, let us act more like Mary than like Marta, be attentive to his words directed to our hearts and, not so much with practical things, concerned with ornaments, gifts and suppers, unless it is to satisfy the needs of the needy and destitute. It is necessary to watch! The Lord will arrive during the darkness, caused by the lack of light, health, freedom, mental confusion, in the reign of lies, oppression, during some slavery, etc.
What are the signs of dawn in my life? In my family, in my friends, in my work, in my faith?
The second reading, taken from I Cor 1,3-9, speaks of the lucidity and positivity of that exemplary community, but that from verse 10 onwards, Paul will call attention not to be partisans, but united. So always attentive, always alert, even in moments where we are grateful to God for His action in us, in our community.