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Jer 33:14-16; Ps 25:4-5ab.8-9.10 and 14; 1Thes 3:12 – 4:2; Lk 21:25-28, 34-36

Advent is a time of waiting for Christ, allowing Jesus to be reborn in our lives. It is also a time for purifying our hearts by repentance and for renewing our lives by reflecting on and experiencing the several comings (advents) of Christ into our lives. Besides coming into our world through birth, Jesus comes into our lives as we live them through His Church, its Sacraments (especially the Eucharist), the Word of God, the worshiping community, as we die, and finally, in His Second Coming.

In the first reading, the prophet Jeremiah waits and hopes for an ideal descendant of King David Who, as Messiah of God, will bring security, peace, and justice to God’s people. Christians believe that Jeremiah’s waiting and hoping have been fulfilled in Jesus. Jeremiah’s prophecy assures us that the Lord, our Justice will fulfill His promises, and, hence, we need not be afraid, despite the frightening events and almost universal moral degradation. The Psalmist expresses the central idea of patient, vigilant, prayerful waiting for the Lord in today’s Responsorial Psalm praying, “Your ways, O Lord, make known to me; teach me your paths, guide me in your Truth and teach me for You are God, my Savior.” In the second reading, Paul urges the Thessalonians to continue and intensify the life of holiness and mutual love he has taught them as they wait for “the coming of our Lord Jesus with all His holy ones.” In today’s Gospel, Jesus prophesies the signs and portents that will accompany his Second Coming and encourages us to be expectant, optimistic, vigilant, and well-prepared:

“When these signs begin to happen, stand erect and raise your heads because your redemption is at hand.” Jesus wants us to face the future with confidence in God’s providence.

We need to prepare ourselves for Christ’s second coming by allowing Jesus to be reborn daily in our lives. Advent gives us time to make this preparation — repenting of and confessing our sins, renewing our lives through prayer and penance, and sharing our blessings with others. In Advent, we also need to check for what needs to be put right in our lives, to see how we have failed, and to assess the ways in which we can do better.

The Church reminds us that we will each be asked to give an account of our lives before Christ the Judge, both at the moment of our death and at Jesus’ second coming. Today’s readings invite us to assess our lives every night during

Advent and to make the necessary alterations in the light of the approaching Christmas celebration. Amid the tragedies that sometimes occur in our daily lives and the setbacks in spiritual life, we must raise our heads in hope and anticipation, knowing that the Lord is coming again.


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