First Sunday of Advent November 29, 2020
By Rev. Fr. Bob Johnnene OFM
Mission Saints Sergius & Bacchus/ Order Franciscans of Mercy.org www.missionstsergius.org
Based on readings from: Isaiah 63:16-64:8; Psalm 79; 1 Corinthians 1:3-9; Mark 13:33-37
“Be on your guard, stay awake, because you never know when the time will come” these opening
words from our gospel of today are a warning to us to always be ready to face God and answer for
how we lived our life.
We are being told to be prepared, to be prepared for the time when God calls us home and we must
face Him and answer for the choices we made in our journey on earth.
On this first Sunday of Advent we are reminded that our time here on earth is a time of preparation
and service to God and His children.
We are being called to prepare ourselves to meet our creator.
How are we going to meet Him?
Will we meet him with tattered and dirty clothing because of the transgressions we committed on
our path of life?
Or will we meet Him with clean and shining souls, spotless from our faithfully living our lives as
Christ instructed and from frequent participation in the Sacraments of Reconciliation and Eucharist.
In a Broadway musical, there is a chant that proclaims “Prepare ye the way of the Lord”
That is one of the primary reasons why we are here.
God put us here on earth to prepare ourselves to meet him and claim our rightful inheritance of
eternal life with Him and all the heavenly elect.
We are going to have to answer to God about how we cared for His creation?
Were we mindful of the environment?
Did we look out for the needs of the poor, sick, elderly, homeless and the immigrant?
Did we treat all those we met on our life’s journey with respect, recognizing them as our brothers
and sisters in Christ?
Or did we go about our lives being self-centered, caring only for our own comfort and pleasure
without regard for how our actions affected others.
Did we set aside time in our busy days to thank God for the gifts he has given to us no matter how
Did we appreciate the people who have been placed in our lives, especially those who criticized us
and pointed out our faults to help us become a better person?
Did we pray for those who caused us problems, headaches, or hurt us or do we try to inflict
revenge on them?
Did we act in our everyday lives with integrity and keep God’s ways always in the forefront of all
So many of us go about our daily lives without ever taking the time to recognize what is around us
or what gifts we have been given, we only turn to God when things go badly.
I do not want to count the many times I have heard people say, “Where is God when people are
dying from Aids, how does he allow innocent children suffer, If there is a God why does he allow
people to suffer”.
I usually respond; “so that you will have a reason to help those people, To open your eyes to how
He has blessed you and give you an opportunity to thank Him by reaching out to those who are
He wants to see if you will sit back and be complacent or will you do as Jesus did and speak out
against injustice, bulling, fight poverty, work for equality and justice for all people, seek out
peaceful means of settling disputes”
In short, the lesson for this first week of Advent is that we have to remain diligent, be awake to
what is going on around us and respond in a Christ like way.
We need to give God some private time each day, morning and
evening, where we examine how we will go about in service to Him and look over the day
reviewing how we did and be sure to thank God for bringing us through another day.
We must, every day, prepare ourselves for the day when we will meet Christ with our souls
dressed not in filthy tattered clothing but in our finest raiment.
Let us begin the season of Advent by making sure we are preparing to celebrate the gift of Christ’s
birth, not by spending tons of time decorating the house and shopping for gifts for family and
friends but by preparing to present a wonderful gift to the Christ child of a clean spirit, heart and
soul, free from malice, hate, greed, envy, and prejudice but full of love for God and our neighbor.