Blessed first Sunday in Advent to each of you!
Advent and Lent are the two penitential seasons of the church year. However, Advent is a season in anticipa-tion of the birth of Christ in time. Now, what is meant by "the birth of Christ in time"? Our four Sundays of Advent are not just Sundays in preparation for the birth of a child destined to become the Savior of the nations, but the birth of a child every day in the hearts of every Christian and the future return of the second coming in time where everything will be taken back by our God.
In today's Gospel, for some this reading might strike fear into their hearts: "...perplexed by the roaring of the sea and the waves. People will die of fright." Even to-day, we hear about doomsday sayers professing the end of the world on a particular date. To be sure, the end of the world will come! However, we truly do not know the time. Only God knows when God will call eve-rything to return to him.
In the final lines of today's Gospel we are told to "be vigilant at all times and pray that you have the strength to escape the tribulations that are imminent."
This first Sunday in the season of Advent is a time for us to joyfully await the coming of Christ for the first time, at birth; for the second time, into our everyday lives; and looking forward to the last time when he will come to take all of creation back to his Father.