Reflection: First Sunday of Advent

Chinese Mass:Every Sunday 2:15 p.m.

Our Lady of the Assumption RC Church, Assumption Priory, Victoria Park Square, Bethnal Green E2 9PB (map)

After Mass you are welcome to join the community for a tea gathering

Bible study/sharing every Saturday (2:00-4:00 p.m.) at Notre Dame De France Church, 5 Leicester Place WC2H 7BX (near See Woo Chinese Supermarket, Leicester Square tube station)

Talk and discussion meeting First Monday of every month (4:00-6:00 p.m.) at Notre Dame De France Church


[1st Reading – Is.63:16-17; 64:1.3-8; Ps.79; 2nd Reading – 1Cor.1:3-9; Gospel – Mk.13:33-37]


In today’s second reading, we are told that “God is faithful”, which also fits very well with today’s gospel.  Jesus tells his disciples that God, like the parable’s master of the house, will be coming, and Paul in the second reading is telling us that God is faithful.  Thus, if God said so, then he is truly coming.

On many occasions in our life, we’ve had that invitation to be on our guard and to prepare ourselves because the Lord is coming.  But often we prepare ourselves for these so called ‘comings of the Lord’ but we do not have the patience to really wait for him.  In fact, we go about our business and we do not expect to see him at all, even when we say that we are “waiting” for him i.e. we do not really believe that he will truly come.

Still, Paul assures us that God is faithful and he will keep his word.  What about us?  Even if we know that God is coming (do not yet know how he is coming), what does it have to do with us?

Jesus is inviting his disciples (and in fact everyone) to stay awake.  This invitation, although initially made specifically to the doorkeeper of the house, who must be ready to open the door when the master of the house returns, is an invitation to each and every one of his servants too.  We are told that when he has gone from home, he left his servants in charge … each with their own task, they too had to be vigilant and be on their guard and do their job in staying awake because no one knows when the Master is coming back.  Jesus says that the master might return in the evening or at midnight or at cockcrow or even at dawn …  i.e. unexpectedly … and the master must not find his servants asleep on his return.

Jesus is inviting a specific person to stay awake – the doorkeeper – because if he sleeps during his task, it is not only the master of the house who would have problems to enter into his house, but even others who are in the house.  It would be problematic for those going in AND out of the house i.e. the doorkeeper’s lack of responsibility towards his job has an effect on everyone.

The start of the Advent season is a way for all of us to prepare for the coming of the Lord.  At Christmas we celebrate the birth of Jesus, the Emmanuel, the God with us.  Jesus, as promised through the Old Testament and the word of God given to the prophets, is coming.  He is faithful.  He is coming, as promised.  We are invited to open ourselves up to him.  We are invited to stay awake and to take our responsibilities and wait so that when he comes, he finds us awake and ready, with the door open for him …

This is an open invitation for all of us.  Are we going to accept this invitation and stay awake and wait for him?  Once he is with us, we can then rest with him …

“Lord, you give us the opportunity to restart and refresh again our wait for your presence because you want to be with us.  Give us the strength that we need to be able to stay awake while waiting for your presence in our life.  Thank you Lord!”


Fr. Jesmond Pawley, OFM Conv.

(Permission to reproduce on this site by Fr. Jesmond, St. Patrick’s RC Church, Waterloo )

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