November 29, 2020
“Lord, you are our father, we clay it, and you are our potter:
we are all the work of your hand.”
The Lord tells us today:
“Be vigilant, watch: for you do not know when the time is… see!”
Reading the book of Isaiah 63, 16b-17. 19b; 64, 2b-7
You, Lord, are our father, your name has always been “our Liberator”.
Why do you misplace us, Lord, from your ways,
and harden our hearts so that I don’t fear you?
Turn around, out of love for your servants and the tribes of your inheritance.
I wish you’d rip the sky down and come down!
In your presence, the mountains would shudder.
“You descended, and the mountains shuddered.”
Never heard or heard, nor eye saw a God, out of you,
to do so much for whoever waits in it.
You go out to meet those who joyfully practice justice
and, walking your ways, he remembers you.
Behold, you were angry, and we have sinned.
But on the roads of ancient times we will be saved.
We were all impure, our righteousness was a stained dress;
we all withered like leaves, our faults took us away like the wind.
No one invoked your name, no one came out of lethargy to adhere to you;
for you hid your face from us and gave us the power of our guilt.
And yet, Lord, you are our father, we clay and you are our potter:
we are all the work of your hand.
Exit 79, 2ac and 3b. 15-16. 18-19
R/. Oh, God, restore us, let your face shine and save us.
Pastor of Israel, listen; you who sit on cherubs, shine;
awaken your power and come save us. R/.
God of armies, turn around: look from heaven, look, come visit your vineyard.
Take care of the strain your right hand planted, and the son of the man you’ve strengthened. R/.
May your hand protect your chosen one, the man you strengthened.
We will not turn away from you: give us life, so that we may invoke your name. R/.
Reading St Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians 1, 3-9
To you grace and peace on the part of God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
I continually thank my God for you, for the grace of God that has been given to you in Christ Jesus; for in it they have been enriched in everything: in every word and in all science; because in you the testimony of Christ has been tested, so that you do not lack any free gift, while you await the manifestation of our Lord Jesus Christ.
He will hold you firm to the end, that they may be irrepressible on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Faithful is God, who called them to communion with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
Reading the Holy Gospel according to Mark 13, 33-37
At that time, Jesus said to his disciples:
“Be vigilant, watch: because you don’t know when the time is.
He is like a man who went on a trip, and left his house and gave each of his servants his homework, instructing the goalkeeper to watch over.
Then watch, for they do not know when the lord of the house will come, whether at dusk, or midnight, or at the crowing of the rooster, or at dawn: les than he comes unexpectedly and finds them asleep.
What I say to you, I say to all of you, “See!”
We begin Advent, and with Advent a new liturgical year in which we will gradually celebrate all the moments and mysteries that tinge the life of Christ, with whom we are called to identify. It is good that we welcome this new time as one more opportunity offered by the Lord to know Him more and better, to resemble Him, to be reborn to the hope to which He calls us, to live fraternal charity more authenticly, to share the pains and anxieties of the people with which we live, as Jesus himself did. Time to open our eyes again to Christ, to recognize Him in those who suffer; to open our hearts to their love, to change our attitudes and to encourage others to do the same with our testimonies.
The word Advent means “what is to come”. Thus, we enter a period in which the Liturgy and the Word of God will invite us to look forward, to the future, to the end, to eternal life, to the glorious coming of our Lord Jesus Christ at the end of time. Advent is the time of waiting and hope. Knowing how to wait for the Lord, his passage, his moment, his way, and to be reborn in hope as a theological virtue that God Himself infers us through his Spirit, must be keys of prayer, more abundant and extensive in this time. Figures such as Mary, mother of Jesus and our mother, or John the Baptist, will help us to better understand and live hope and hope.
Advent is also a time of preparation for Christmas that, as we well know, recalls the birth of Jesus, our Savior. In it we will remember and relive the coming of the Son of God in the flesh. God became man so that all mankind could partake of God’s life. We will contemplate God who has humanized so that we may be divinized. We believe that the same one who has already come and faced himself in Mary’s pure bowels will come the end of time to judge the living and the dead. We also believe that he comes to share our lives, to accompany us on the way, to suffer with us, to enlighten our path, in the present of each one, deep in our hearts, in the circumstances around us however raw they may seem, especially in the poor and helpless brethren. There is Jesus coming, born again, defeating the culture of death, healing broken hearts, recomposing torn lives. Jesus is coming… that’s why you have to be vigilant and vigilant; that is why we must watch, let us not discover it, or it has to pass by, because our hearts are in something else, because the force of evil has made us insensitive to their cries of help in the oppressed and disinherited of the earth.
Today’s Word of God gives us first of all a precious prayer which, together with the psalm, we must recite and repeat calmly and peacefully. We must never forget that God is our Father, our Liberator, the Potter who has modeled our clay and our mud, who has given us life and sustains us in it; we are the work of his hands and his hands are the best place to put and rest our lives every day. Trust in Him will hold us firm to the end, irrepressible and faithful in our choice for Christ and his Gospel, as St Paul tells us today.
But at the heart of today’s message is In Jesus’ invitation to be attentive, vigilant, and watch over. Active and attentive vigilance to what He desires of us at all times, to the people who claim us, to the circumstances around us, to our involvement in the history of our people, to one’s own and others’ pain, without hiding, but also without overexposures, with the awareness that our mission is not to confront anyone but to make Christ present with the word , with gesture and, above all, with the witness of life consistent with his Gospel.
Pope Francis explains in a beautiful way how we must be attentive, watch and watch: “The person who is attentive is the one who, in the noise of the world, does not get carried away by distraction or superficiality, but lives fully and consciously, with a concern addressed first of all to others. It is the watchful person who welcomes the invitation to watch over, that is, not to be overwhelmed by the dream of discouragement, lack of hope, disappointment; and at the same time rejects the call of so many vanities of which the world is full and behind which time and personal and family serenity are sometimes sacrificed. Being attentive and vigilant are the premises for not continuing to wander out of the ways of the Lord, lost in our sins and our infidelities; to be attentive and alert are the conditions to allow God to break into our lives, to restore meaning and courage to Him with his presence full of kindness and tenderness.”
Jesus Christ, Word of the Father, eternal light of every believer:
come and listen to the burning supplication, come, Lord, because it is already late.
When the world slept in darkness, in your love you wanted to help him
and you brought, coming to earth, that life that can save him.
History matures into promises, only yearns for your own return;
if silence matures waiting for her, love cannot stand silence.
With Mary, the Church awaits you with longings for a wife and mother,
and gather their children up, so that together they can wait for you.
When you come, Lord, in your glory, that we may go out to meet you
and by your side we live forever, thanking the Father in the kingdom. Amen.