• Wartakanlah Injil kepada segala makhluk.
    Mrk 16:15

  • 你们往普天下去, 向一切受造物宣传福音
    谷 16:15

  • Everything is possible by the power of the Holy Spirit’s Grace.
    St Arnold Janssen

  • Segala sesuatu menjadi mungkin dalam kekuatan karunia Roh Kudus.
    St. Arnold Janssen

  • 我当传教士不是为主牺牲,而是上主给我的最大恩赐

  • Với sức mạnh Ân Huệ của Chúa Thánh Thần, Mọi việc đều có thể được.
    St Arnoldus Janssen

  • Preach the Gospel to the whole creation./Anh em hãy đi khắp tứ phương thiên hạ, loan báo Tin Mừng cho mọi loài thọ tạo
    Mk 16:15

  • There are many different gifts, but it is always the same Spirit.
    1 Cor 12:4

  • And the Word became flesh and lived among us.
    Jn 1:14

  • Let the word of Christ, in all its richness, find a home with you.
    Col 3:16

  • To proclaim the Good News is the first and greatest act of love of neighbour.
    St Arnold Janssen

  • 传扬天国福音是第一且最大的爱近人行动

  • Có nhiều đặc sủng khác nhau, nhưng chỉ có một Thần Khí/
    1 Cor. 14:4

  • 圣言成了血肉,寄居在我们中间
    若 1:14

  • Ada rupa-rupa karunia, tetapi Roh satu
    1 Kor 12:4

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Friday, 01 December 2017 12:11

First Sunday of Advent - 2017

Written by Fr Elmer Ibarra SVD

First Sunday of Advent
Mark 13:33-37

Fr Elmer Ibarra 150 BestIt’s now the start of another liturgical year. This year is Year B, meaning that most of the gospel readings for Sundays will come from the Gospel according to Mark and also a good number of Sundays will be coming from the Gospel according to John.

Advent is a nice season for many reasons. First, Advent has so many symbols that remind us of its importance. We have the violet colour to be used for vestments and other decorations at the altar. Violet is a symbol of penance. We should remember that penance is not only associated with Lent but also with Advent. Penance is the theme of preparation for the coming of Christ. It is like cleaning our house in order to welcome a very important person this Christmas. Then we have the Advent wreath. This wonderful symbol of Advent is a constant reminder for us that we should be ready for the coming of Christ. The four candles to be lit every Sunday of Advent is symbolic of the four thousand years of waiting for the promise of the coming of the Messiah to be fulfilled. The violet colour of the three candles reminds us of the need for repentance so that we’ll be prepared when Jesus comes again. The rose candle is lit during the third Sunday of Advent, a reminder to us that Christmas is really near and we should intensify our effort for repentance and also to be excited for the imminent coming of Christ. Second, Advent has a two-fold phase, the first part of the season focuses on being prepared for Christ’s second coming at the end of time. The second phase of Advent begins on the 17th of December with the readings focusing on the events that happened before the birth of Christ on that first Christmas more than two thousand years ago.

The gospel for today is the theme for the first phase of Advent and that is to Watch and Be Ready for we don’t know when Christ is coming. I remember when I was still a nursing student, I was assigned to the Delivery Room and I remember that we had mothers in the waiting room standing and walking while in labour, waiting and waiting to deliver their babies. There were mothers who would only stay in the room a couple of hours and then we would get them to the table and deliver their babies while there were mothers who would wait for sometimes for a couple of days from the start of labour until they were ready for delivery. And all the time, we had to be ready and be on watch for we didn’t know when a particular mother was going to deliver her baby.

In the gospel Jesus tells us three times “to watch”. Watch because we do not know when the lord of the house is coming. During those times, there were people travelling at all times of the day. Some people preferred to travel during the day because it was bright and they could see the tracks very easily. However, there were some who hated travelling during the day because at the middle of the day, the temperature could really get very high and things could be very hot. For some people, in order to avoid the heat they travelled during the night, navigating by stars and with the dark to protect them from robbers. So the servants and slaves have to be alert and watch when their master is coming for they have no idea when he is coming.

The same is true with us as followers of Jesus. We have to be ready anytime for his Second Coming. It is true that for many years a lot of people have predicted the Second Coming of Christ and the end of the world. And yet, they have all failed. Still, we should all be watchful and be ready for we do not know when Jesus will come again. Even if the Second Coming doesn’t happen in our lifetime, we know for sure that our own death is a certainty, however when that will happen we do not know.

The early Christians used to pray “Maranatha, Come Lord Jesus.” They were very fervent with this prayer believing that the Second Coming would happen during their lifetime and still it is relevant and we should pray that prayer every day for we also don’t know when Jesus will come again. And while preparing for his coming, are we excited?

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