November 28, 2009


1st Sunday of Advent - C
Luke 21:25-28, 34-36

Do Not Be Drowsy Because of the Anxieties of Daily Life.

The Gospel for this year's First Sunday of Advent does not look at the key Biblical figures commonly associated with Advent and Christmas, such as Isaiah, John the Baptist, Elizabeth, or the Virgin Mary. Nor does it speak of preparation for the first coming of the Messiah in Bethlehem. Instead, it speaks of the future coming of the Son of Man in the first half of the passage (verses 25-28).

Jesus uses images common to his Jewish audience to speak of the end time, the time of his return. The message, as vivid as it may sound, says nothing about the exact time of such events. We know from Jesus' teachings elsewhere, and from human experience, that we do not know the time nor the hour. Moreover, it is beyond our control. It's in God's hands.

The only thing we can do is how we live our lives in the here and now. And that is the best preparation for the Messiah's future coming.

The second part of the Gospel passage (verses 34-36) then instructs us how to live the present moment. Jesus warns us not to "become drowsy." Drowsiness is often caused by "carousing and drunkenness." But Jesus also warns us of another sourse of drowsiness, namely, "the anxieties of daily life."

If I believe that God loves me and cares for me, then I would not become anxious of daily life.

The same loving God who watches over my future, and in fact, the future of the whole universe, is the God who loves me today. It is the same God who gives me this day out of love. And that's the only thing I have for sure. It's only today that I can and need to live well. And if I live well today, I would not be drowsy and miss the presence of God in my daily life, nor will I miss the Messiah on the day he comes.

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