Hi. Today is Sunday, Dec. 3, the first Sunday of Advent. I hope you are having a good day!
Today's Gospel Reading (Luke 21:25-28, 34-36):
Jesus said to his disciples:
“There will be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars,
and on earth nations will be in dismay,
perplexed by the roaring of the sea and the waves.
People will die of fright
in anticipation of what is coming upon the world,
for the powers of the heavens will be shaken.
And then they will see the Son of Man
coming in a cloud with power and great glory.
But when these signs begin to happen,
stand erect and raise your heads
because your redemption is at hand.
“Beware that your hearts do not become drowsy
from carousing and drunkenness
and the anxieties of daily life,
and that day catch you by surprise like a trap.
For that day will assault everyone
who lives on the face of the earth.
Be vigilant at all times
and pray that you have the strength
to escape the tribulations that are imminent
and to stand before the Son of Man.”
Jesus tells us we must always be ready when He comes. During the Advent Season we really focus on preparing ourselves for His Second Coming, just as we ponder His first coming into this world by His birth. According to today's Gospel, we can prepare ourselves for His return in three ways:
Luke 21:28 says " Now when these things begin to take place, stand up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near." We need to look beyond our present circumstances, and look at the Lord. One way we can do this is by strengthening our prayer life with Him. Another way would be through attendance in church. Let us do whatever will help us focus on Him, and foster our relationship with Him.
Luke 21:34 says to "Be on guard so that your hearts are not weighed down with dissipation and drunkeness and the worries of this life, and that day catch you unexpectedly..." Let's think for a moment about being weighed down by the "worries of life". Does that ever happen to you? It happens to me. We often fail to focus on the Lord if we are worrying about the circumstances of our daily lives. We can get caught up in our problems and choose worry and anxiety, or we can choose trust in God and commit our circumstances to the One who has real control!
And finally, Jesus makes one more statement, in the passages we are given today, of how we should act. In Luke 21:36 He says "Be alert at all times, praying that you will have the strength to escape all the things that will take place, and to stand before the Son of Man." This speaks of alertness and prayerfulness. Alertness and prayer will strengthen you in your walk with the Lord.
Keep your eyes on Him this Advent Season, and always.
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Gospel reading: Luke 21:25-28, 34-36