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Tag Archives: Matthew 24:37-44

TODAY’S GOSPEL READING (MATTHEW 24:37-44)

TODAY’S GOSPEL READING (MATTHEW 24:37-44)

First Sunday of Advent, Year A

Stay awake so that you may be ready.

Jesus said to his disciples: ‘As it was in Noah’s day, so will it be when the Son of Man comes. For in those days before the Flood people were eating, drinking, taking wives, taking husbands, right up to the day Noah went into the ark, and they suspected nothing till the Flood came and swept all away. It will be like this when the Son of Man comes. Then of two men in the fields one is taken, one left; of two women at the millstone grinding, one is taken, one left.

‘So stay awake, because you do not know the day when your master is coming. You may be quite sure of this that if the householder had known at what time of the night the burglar would come, he would have stayed awake and would not have allowed anyone to break through the wall of his house. Therefore, you too must stand ready because the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.’

V. The Gospel of the Lord. R. Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.

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ADVENT: “THE SON OF MAN IS COMING AT AN HOUR YOU DO NOT EXPECT.” HOW DO WE MAINTAIN A STATE OF READINESS?

STAY AWAKE
(Isaiah 2:1-5, Matthew 24:37-44, Romans 13:11-14)

“‘You must wake up now,’ St Paul says to the Christians in Rome. Similarly, Our Lord warns his disciples to ‘stay awake’. Staying awake, fighting off the need to sleep, is not always easy. The exhausted disciples in the Garden of Gethsemane couldn’t keep awake even for an hour. Children on Christmas Eve try hard to stay awake, hoping to catch a glimpse of Santa Claus, but inevitably their eyes close long before he arrives. We all need a refreshing sleep at the end of a day’s work.

WATCHING THEIR FLOCKS AT NIGHT

Surely sleep deprivation is not what Jesus wants for his followers. It is more a matter of being watchful, aware and ready to respond to events. Those shepherds who were the first witnesses of Christ’s birth were watching their flocks at night. It was dark and no doubt they nodded from time to time, but it was important to keep the sheep under careful surveillance. Because they were alert they were able to receive the angels’ announcement, prompting them to go and see the Christ Child.

THE THREE MAGI WERE ALSO ON CONSTANT WATCH

The Magi in their distant observatories were also on constant watch. They must have been routinely scanning the sky, plotting on their charts the positions of stars and planets. Had they not been vigilant they would have overlooked the bright star and missed the opportunity to find the Child whose birth it indicated.

BEING VIGILANT

During Advent we focus on that birth, the coming of Jesus into our world, but in the Gospel for today Jesus is talking about his second coming. We know he will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead but we have no clue to when this will happen, so he urges us to be prepared. ‘Stand ready, because the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.’ How can we maintain a state of readiness? By keeping watch on our behaviour and on what is going on around us.

IT’S A BIT LIKE DRIVING A CAR

It’s a bit like driving a car: we need to be aware always of what is happening behind and in front of us, how we interact with other road users and what dangers there might be. We watch the road ahead so that we can anticipate any problems and react promptly, knowing that carelessness or inattention could result in disaster. On our spiritual journey we need to be alert, keeping careful watch over what we say and do and the situations in which we may find ourselves.

‘THOSE OFFICE CHRISTMAS PARTIES’

St Paul says: ‘Let us live decent lives: no drunken orgies, licentiousness, wrangling or jealousy.’ I wonder whether he was thinking about those office Christmas parties! Sadly, for some people the purpose of the four weeks leading up to Christmas is to get drunk as often as possible. Celebrations and parties are fine but be alert, be aware – and be ready to leave.

‘WRANGLING AND JEALOUSY’

Wrangling and jealousy? Surely not! But in fact the weeks of preparation for Christmas can often be a time of tension and arguments within families. Who is being invited for Christmas dinner? Who had the in-laws last year? Why do I have to do everything? It can all become very competitive, as children demand more and more expensive presents. We can start to feel like St Martha, overwhelmed with chores, becoming indignant about it and losing sight of the ‘one thing necessary’, a spirit of prayer. We need to be aware of this danger and be on our guard.

THE DANGER OF SLEEPWALKING THROUGH LIFE

It would be dangerous to sleepwalk through life, unheeding and unmindful. If we try, as St Paul advises, to live decent lives we should be ready to greet Our Lord whenever he comes. Of course, we don’t have to wait for the Second Coming. He comes to us in the Blessed Sacrament; he comes to us in little acts of love and kindness. If we are looking out for him, making time and space for him in our daily lives, he comes and makes his home with us. In the words of the Christmas carol, ‘Where meek souls will receive Him, still the dear Christ enters in.’ Let us try to be watchful and ready. –
If you enjoy reading Fr Francis’ weekly homily you may like to order his homily and other books, CDs and DVDs by requesting a mail order form. Address: 15 Cuppin St., Chester CH1 2BN; email: brfrancis@btconnect.com ”
– This article by Br. Francis entitled “We must be alert on our spiritual journey” was published in “The Catholic Universe” issue Sunday 1st December, 2013. For subscriptions please visit http://www.thecatholicuniverse.com (external link).

 
 

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FIRST SUNDAY OF ADVENT, GOSPEL READING (MATTHEW 24:37-44)

LIKE A THIEF IN THE NIGHT

Jesus said to his disciples: ‘As it was in Noah’s day, so will it be when the Son of Man comes. For in those days before the Flood people were eating, drinking, taking wives, taking husbands, right up to the day Noah went into the ark, and they suspected nothing till the Flood came and swept all away.

It will be like this when the Son of Man comes. Then of two men in the fields one is taken, one left; of two women at the millstone grinding, one is taken, one left. So stay awake, because you do not know the day when your master is coming.

You may be quite sure of this that if the house-holder had known at what time of night the burglar would come, he would have stayed awake and would not have allowed anyone to break through the wall of his house. Therefore, you too must stand ready because the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.”

V. The Gospel of the Lord.
R. Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.

 
 

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