1st Sunday of Advent (year A)

Watch and rise in the Light and in Peace

Jesus said, “Watch therefore, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming. […] So you too get ready because, at an hour you don’t imagine, the Son of man comes “.

Matthew 24,42.44

Advent: intense time of waiting and conversion, which leads us to experience the great solemnity of the Lord’s Nativity and to contemplate the Incarnation of the Word with which the admirable work of our Redemption takes shape in the fullness of time. The four Sundays trace a path that invites us to prepare for the coming of our King: it is time to wake up, go up (1st Sunday) and convert (2nd Sunday), to rejoice, rejoice (3rd Sunday) and celebrate the salvation that God brings about for each of us (4th Sunday). The Gospel of Matthew accompanies us, which we will read during this new liturgical year A, of which today, with the 1st Sunday of Advent, we inaugurate the opening.

Let us therefore get up and go to meet the Lord, let us rejoice “because he comes to judge the earth” (cf. Psalm 96). Let’s abandon the baseness of everyday life, find spaces and times to “go up”, let us let ourselves be flooded by Beauty! The liturgy, with a circularity that welds the last Sunday of Ordinary Time to the first Sunday of Advent every year, invites us to go up to God’s holy place, to be vigilant, to remain in the Light and to guard Peace. Saint Paul (Romans, II reading) exhorts: «It is time to wake up from sleep; the night is advanced, the day is near: let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the weapons of Light. Let’s behave as in broad daylight; not between lusts and impurities, not in quarrels and jealousies. Let’s put on the Lord.” Isaiah (I Reading) confirms: in the fullness of time “the mountain of the House of God will rise” and “all the nations will flow”; he invites us: “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, so that he may teach us his ways and we may walk in his paths”; then there will be true peace, “they will no longer learn the art of war”. Peace itself evokes Psalm 121 (Responsory), which we already prayed in last Sunday’s liturgy: it makes us rejoice in contemplation of Jerusalem, the city of the great King, where «the tribes of the Lord ascend together», where we too, pilgrims with Famiglia Cristiana, had the joy of «climbing» last Sunday, to celebrate right there our Lord Jesus Christ King of the Universe.

LET’S WAKE UP! Back in our homes, we still have an unforgettable experience in our eyes and hearts; now the Psalm invites: «Ask for Peace for Jerusalem, be Peace within your walls. For my brothers and my friends I will say: Peace be upon you, I will ask for Good for you». Jerusalem here opens up as a symbol of all humanity: we are called to pray for his and our Peace, to make it concrete among us on a daily basis. Let us practice, in this Advent, to seek Peace in our gestures, to desire the Good and to build it, as far as we can, for the people who are next to us: those of our family, those who work with us, those we know best and often we judge without really loving them. The Gospel presents a teaching of Jesus to the disciples, relating to the times of the coming of the Son of Man: “As in the days of Noah” God comes and acts while the world goes on getting by and dozing off, “without realizing anything”; that does not happen to us! Jesus admonishes: “Watch, be ready!”. Happy Advent!

1st Sunday of Advent (year A) – 27 November 2022