“Get ready for Sunday.” The readings for the First Sunday of Advent are Isaiah 63:16b-17, 19b; 64:2b-7, 1 Corinthians 1:3-9, and the Gospel from Mark 13:33-37.
The first reading this coming Sunday is from the Prophet Isaiah. With the Israelites in exile because of their infidelity, Isaiah writes about reconciling with God the Father. Although Isaiah writes about God hiding his face from them, we know that it really is a matter of us turning our face from God. In the second reading, St. Paul reminds the Corinthians about the grace and blessings given to them by God through Jesus.
In the Gospel, Jesus is telling his disciples to be watchful for the second coming of the Lord. By virtue of the parable of the traveling man who instructs “the gatekeeper to be on watch” Jesus is planting the seed for diligence within his followers.
As I prepare for Sunday, the three readings convey a theme to me that is important as we start the Advent season. Our loving God is always there when we return to him, and seek him out for forgiveness. Through his gift of grace we know of this love for us. Finally, because we do not know when Jesus will return, we should be watchful and prepared. In essence, we should use the grace God has given us to be in communion with the Lord, and not in a spiritual exile.