First Sunday of Advent Reflection: November 28
You're invited to listen to Eric and Stephanie Hadaway' s reflection for The First Sunday of Advent, part of Cathedral's Advent Reflection series. You may also listen on our podcast here (or wherever you listen to podcasts).
Continue reading this email or visit our Reflections webpage for a written version of this reflection!
Isn’t it interesting that we begin Advent, the time when we start preparing for the joyful celebration of the birth of Christ, with a Gospel reading that sounds a little bit scary and reminds us to be prepared for His second coming? Think about it – how many people do you expect, when asked “What is Advent about?”, would reply with anything other than getting ready for Christmas and the joyful celebration of Jesus’ birth?
So much of this season seems to be focused on “the big day” - Advent calendars, decorations everywhere, exchanging of gifts, and a seemingly limitless focus on Christmas Day. And here with today’s gospel reading we are asked to contemplate an event, the end of time, when people “faint from fear and foreboding of what is coming upon the world.” Where is the joy and celebration in that?
Instead of focusing on the “frightful anticipation” aspect of this Gospel, we need to read it with hope and expectation, and trust that as followers of Christ we’ve prepared our hearts, followed His path, and that we’ll be able to stand erect and raise our heads before Him when the time comes.
One of the best ways we can prepare our hearts is to pray for divine guidance as David did in Psalm 25. We can ask the Lord to teach us and guide us and to give us the strength to “keep awake” and “escape the tribulations” of daily life.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, as we prepare for the joyful celebration of Christmas, we lift up our souls to you and ask you for guidance and strength to follow your paths. Lord, teach us your ways and make us ever mindful so we are prepared to meet you when you come again. Amen.
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