Stay awake – First Sunday of Advent (A)

By Thiago, sx 

Happy New Year! We are starting a new liturgical year, in which the evangelist Matthew will be the one to take us by the hand and to guide us in our path of faith in order to know better the life of Jesus and to love him even more. The opening of a new liturgical year coincides with the beginning of the Advent season. This season is a school which teaches us how to orient ourselves towards the daily comings of the Lord in our lives and, at the same time, towards the blessed hope of his second coming in glory: “Stay awake, then, for you do not know on what day your Lord will come.”

Coming of the LordThe affirmation of the Lord, in the Gospel of this first Sunday in Advent season, “stay awake,” in reality, is an invitation to grow in our relationship with him, so that we will be able to recognize his constant presence in our lives. Before going back to the Father, Jesus affirmed: “I am with you always, till the end of time.” The Lord is constantly at our side, in our work, in the many activities we do, and especially in our struggle for justice, peace, and life. A word which gives us courage, a message which raises us to the very essence of life, a smile which rekindles in us both hope and love, an outstretched hand, the serenity which comes from a prayerful moment, is a sign of Jesus´ daily Advent in our lives.

Enlightened by this certainty, we can say that the Lord´s second coming in glory will be the crowning of what we are already living. When the Lord will come back again in his glory we should not be surprised neither scared, on the contrary, we should already be accustomed with his presence among us, our eyes familiarized to see him in our brothers and sisters – in those who work for his Kingdom and our ears acquainted with his voice.

The Lord came, the Lord comes and the Lord will come again in glory. All these comings are a sign of his desire to be close to us and to walk with us. The Advent season aims to makes us aware of this, and, at the same time, this season presents us a question: “Are we eager to welcome the Lord and to share our lives with him?” May our answer be like the last words of the Scriptures: “Amen, Maranathà! Come Lord Jesus!”

From the writings of Saint Guido

“The liturgy of the Church perfects us in the Faith, through the commemoration of the great and fundamental truths of the Faith itself. The liturgical year is nothing more than the commemoration of Jesus Christ’s birth, life, passion, death and resurrection and the descent of the Holy Spirit, who came to complete the work of Christ… it is a proclamation and constant affirmation of the salvific truths that are the intangible patrimony of our Faith.”

(1931, 24 April, Parma – Cathedral)

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