Gospel Reflections

1st Sunday of Advent

Matthew 24:37-44

Sunday Gospel Reflection by Sister Bridget Rose Tiernan

Published: November 27, 2016

In the opening prayer for this Sunday’s Eucharistic liturgy we pray that our All-powerful God will increase our STRENGTH OF WILL for doing good…that Christ may find an eager welcome at His coming. It is this coming that the season of Advent is preparing us for ‘at a time that we know not,’ according to Matthew’s Gospel reading for this Sunday (Mt. 24: 37 – 44).

The calendar year that is soon to end has seen more than its fair share of calamity and darkness, of wastage of human and global resources, making it not unlike the Gospel description of ‘Noah’s Day.’ We can only imagine the wasted millions spent on the recent USA presidential elections; we read about the stubborn refusal to listen to the cries of their people in political leaders like Jacob Zuma and Robert Mugabe, and the continual loss of life of refugees escaping from Africa and trying to cross the Mediterranean in search of a better living conditions; we hear about the confusion resulting from the Brexit decision in the UK, throwing up more questions than answers. The list could go on… pointing to considerable darkness and lack of true leadership in many parts of the world, and perhaps causing not a little heaviness of heart and even despondency at times. It is in this darkness that we are called to pray for greater strength of will to do and be God’s goodness wherever we are.

Goodness and good people abound in all of the above situations as each of us can attest. We do however often need each other to remind ourselves of this, and to point to the goodness in life which is indeed always a manifestation of our God. Advent is the season for us to concentrate on these comings, these eruptions of God’s Goodness in even the darkest moments, and to help each other focus on them. We are not called to deny our reality…but in facing up to it, to find the glimmers of light always trying to break through. This is how we can be messengers of the Good News, and uncover the Reign of God, here and now.

While the commercial world is trying its hardest to lure us with false light and glitter this December, may each of us show by our way of living the true road to the ‘Mountain of the Lord’ (Is 2:2) where living simply, respectfully and co-operatively always reveals God’s goodness. And may we continue to support each other when the strength of will for doing good falters a little.  

In this way, we will be the Advent people our world so badly needs.

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