Adv1B20. Isaiah 63:16b-17, 19b; 64:2-7. The Hebrews had wandered from God’s ways, so much so that God let them be punished by being taken away into captivity by the Babylonians. Our reading has the Hebrews crying out to God, “Behold you are angry, and we are sinful.” “You have hidden your face from us and have delivered us up to our guilt. Yet, O Lord, you are our father; we are the clay and you the potter: we are the work of your hands.” As with clay we cannot make ourselves into anything on our own without God. We will just remain a clod. However we are a ‘clay’ that must cooperate with the potter. Our choice is to reject the work of our potter or to unite ourselves to the work of God our potter so that we may be a person who is the work of God’s hands. What will it be?
Mark 13:33-37. We think of Advent as a time to prepare for Christmas, Jesus’ first coming. However, this first Sunday of Advent this Gospel calls upon us to “Be watchful! Be alert! You do not know when the time will come.” Jesus tells his disciples and us to be prepared to be called from this life at any moment. The way to prepare for both Christmas and our departure from this life is to grow in holiness through the power of the Holy Spirit in us. Jesus became human to lead us to his Father in heaven.
1 Corinthians 1:3-9. “God will keep you firm to the end, irreproachable on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.” The expression “the day of the Lord” in New Testament means the day when the Lord will come the second time. The tempting ways of this world, the devil and our own human nature to do as we will can lure us into losing our rootedness and stability in the Lord so that we will not be prepared to meet him when he comes the second time as the king of the universe. We came to belong to Jesus by the grace given to us who enriched us in every way. “God is faithful, and by him you were called to fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.” God is the rock on whom we must build our foundation. Day by day He is giving us eternal victory, as we draw life from him who accompanies us as our daily companion.