Sunday, 1st Week of Advent 

R 1. Is. 2: 1-5; Ps. 122: 1-9; R 2. Rom. 13: 11-14; Gospel. Mt. 24: 37-44.

We are in times of unexpected turnarounds: Demonetization has caught the whole India unawares, neither the common man, nor the implementers were prepared for it; the controversial Mr. Donald Trump, who had little or no chance till the last moment in the US Presidential elections, is the President elect, and the whole world is talking about it, not sure if the world was and is prepared for this.

In the middle of all this commotion, we are quietly beginning, the season of hope, the season of Advent.With this, we mark the beginning of a new liturgical year. Once again, the air is full of Maranatha hymns – “Come Lord Jesus.” This hymn of old, echoes the groaning and longings of many centuries. Prophets paved the way; astrologers looked for signs; and finally when HE came – born to a simple couple, not in palaces, but in a stable at the back of an inn– very few welcomed Him.

When He finally announced His mission, His own disowned Him; when ‘He went about doing good,’ the one who shared His bread betrayed Him; and those, for whom ‘He came to give life and life in abundance,’crucified Him.

But, once again, we are here, raising the same prayer: “Maranatha, Come Lord Jesus.” History has a very strange inkling to repeat itself, but He made it very clear, that this time, it will not be the same. So, what do we do about it?

Today’s readings give us some tips. The first reading from Isaiah, ends with an exhortation to those who seek to enter His holy place, to walk in His light. The psalm is a prayer for peace: the same peace the angels announced at His birth; the same peace He offered us before He ascended into heaven; the same peace, we are all called to share with others. The second reading and the Gospel re-echoes just one message: Be Prepared.

When the whole world slept in the cold wintry December night, the shepherds who watchfully guarded their sheep, saw Him; when the world made wishes on shooting stars, the wise men who followed it, saw Him. And here we are, crying out to see Him, and when He comes, will we be found watching or sleeping? Hear Him say: Be Prepared.

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