The beginning of a New Liturgical Year, November 27, 2016
Psalm 122 (UMH 845)
My dear friends, today all over the world the church begins a new Liturgical Year with the season of Advent. The season of Advent is divided in two parts; the first two Sunday we prepare for the second coming of Christ (Parousia) and the second two Sunday for Christmas.
In today’s first reading the prophet Isaiah (Is 2: 1-5) speaks of a time of complete understanding and harmony among people, a time of peace and fellowship among communities.
Whereas in the second reading St. Paul instructs the Romans (Rom 13:11-14) to be ready for the Lord’s coming. How can they be ready?
By making an effort to give up their sinful ways and strengthen their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Jesus in the Gospel (Mt 24:37-44) instructs his disciples to be alert and watchful for the coming of the Son of Man.
Friends, how do we understand the season of Advent and the readings in today’s context?
There was once an old lady – A very prayerful lady, who always prayed that the Lord would visit her. One day while praying the Lord said to her, “Stella, tomorrow I will come and visit you in your house.”
Stella aroused in happiness and joy and woke up early morning to make preparations for the Lord’s visit. While she was preparing the doorbell rang and she ran and opened the door. Seeing an old man begging for help she said to him, “Today I am very busy and expecting a very important visitor, you come back tomorrow and I will help you.” She then went into the kitchen and continued with her work.
At around mid-day the doorbell rang again and she said “O, my I am not yet ready and My Lord has arrived!” When she opened the door she was surprised to see a young girl in tattered clothes who said, “Can you please help me I have nothing to wear and no shelter” Stella replied, “My dear I am very busy today I am expecting a very important visitor and I have no time today, please come tomorrow I will give you a place to lay your head and some clothes.”
Stella continued her chores and when she had completed her work, she sat down and waited for the Lord. The doorbell rang for the third time and in excitement she ran to open the door only later she discovered that this time it was a child begging for food and water. She very politely told the child to go away and return tomorrow. She sat on the couch waiting impatiently, with time passing by Stella fell asleep.
Next morning Stella woke up very huffed and puffed and said to the Lord, “What kind of a God are you? A God who makes promises and never keeps them, A God who ditches his people. A God who lets his people down and God replied, “Stella my Child, I came to visit you thrice and you did not accept me. I came as an Old man and you did not accept me. I came as a young girl, even then you never accepted me instead you hunted me away. I lastly came as a Child and you pushed me away.”
My dear friends, this advent Jesus will come to each one of us. He will come to us disfigured, as an adult, as a youth and as a child. Will we say we are too busy today or will we say we do not know you. Will we accept him into our homes or will we reject him?
Remember my friends Jesus says “Whatever you do to the least of my brothers you do unto me!”
Fr. Mario Angelo Rodrigues is an active priest at Archdiocese of Karachi.
He is working as Rector at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Karachi.