Today is the First Sunday of Advent 2023. We have before us an exceptionally fruitful time, within both the liturgical year and our hearts, to change gear as we move with our usual trepidation towards the Kingdom of God.
We have arrived at the season waiting, of expectancy. As we watch inside the Gospel narrative for the Son on man to come into the world, and as we imagine how that change ricocheted through the centuries and various cultures to arrive at us in 2023, our minds also turn to how Christ has impacted upon us, personally. How has our journey been shaped by Christ?
In some senses we will see positivity, here. In others, we may well be disappointed. And here is where Advent can change us.
Perhaps, with some humility and kindness, we may allow ourselves the personal spiritual care, this Advent, of letting Christ in, of becoming the poor lowly manger in which Christ was received. If we begin (and we must begin again everyday day) in a posture of poverty, then Christ can move within us. He ultimately demonstrated this with both his birth and death, not to mention his earthly ministerial life.
Let us, as we await the coming of the little boy Jesus, become that manger of poverty, open and awaiting, calm and without pomp, so that we may be his receptors, his ambassadors, and a mirror of his wonderful poverty. Let us be awake, on guard, for this advent. Epiphany in our hearts, this new world, this new life opening up before us. Amen.
The Lord be with you
And with your spirit.
A reading from the Gospel according to Mark 13:33-37
Glory to you, O Lord
Jesus said to his disciples:
‘Be on your guard, stay awake, because you never know when the time will come. It is like a man travelling abroad: he has gone from home, and left his servants in charge, each with his own task; and he has told the doorkeeper to stay awake.
So stay awake, because you do not know when the master of the house is coming, evening, midnight, cockcrow, dawn; if he comes unexpectedly, he must not find you asleep.
And what I say to you I say to all: Stay awake!’
The Gospel of the Lord.
Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.