Liturgy of the Sunday

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First Sunday of Advent


First Reading

Jeremiah 33,14-16

"Look, the days are coming, Yahweh declares, when I shall fulfil the promise of happiness I made to the House of Israel and the House of Judah: In those days and at that time, I shall make an upright Branch grow for David, who will do what is just and upright in the country. In those days Judah will triumph and Israel live in safety. And this is the name the city will be called: Yahweh-is-our-Saving-Justice."

Psalmody

Psalm 24

Antiphon

Lord, remember your great mercy and love.

To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul.
I trust you, let me not be disappointed;
do not let my enemies triumph.

Those who hope in you shall not be disappointed,
but only those who wantonly break faith.

Lord, make me know your ways.
Lord, teach me your paths.

Make me walk in your truth and teach me;
for you are God my saviour.
In you I hope all day long

Remember your mercy, Lord.,
and the love you have shown of old.

Do not remember the sins of my youth.
In your love remember me
because of your goodness, O Lord.

The Lord is good and upright.
He shows the path to those who stray,

He guides the humble in the right path;
He teaches his ways to the poor.

His ways are faithfulness and love
for those who keep his covenant and will.

Lord, for the sake of your name
forgive my guilt; for it is great.

If anyone fears the Lord
he will show him the path he should choose.

His soul shall live in happiness
and his children shall possess the land.

The Lord's friendship is for those who revere him;
to them he reveals his covenant.

My eyes are always on the Lord;
for he rescues my feet from the snare.

Turn to me and have mercy
for I am lonely and poor.

Relieve the anguish of my heart
and set me free from my distress.

See my affliction and my toil
and take all my sins away.

See how many are my foes;
how violent their hatred for me.

Preserve my life and rescue me.
Do not disappoint me, you are my refuge.

May innocence and uprightness protect me :
for my hope is in you, O Lord.

Redeem Israel, O God,
from all its distress.

Second Reading

1 Thessalonians 3,12-4,2

May the Lord increase and enrich your love for each other and for all, so that it matches ours for you. And may he so confirm your hearts in holiness that you may be blameless in the sight of our God and Father when our Lord Jesus comes with all his holy ones. Finally, brothers, we urge you and appeal to you in the Lord Jesus; we instructed you how to live in the way that pleases God, and you are so living; but make more progress still. You are well aware of the instructions we gave you on the authority of the Lord Jesus.

Reading of the Gospel

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Yesterday I was buried with Christ,
today I rise with you who are risen.
With you I was crucified;
remember me, Lord, in your kingdom.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Luke 21,25-28.34-36

'There will be signs in the sun and moon and stars; on earth nations in agony, bewildered by the turmoil of the ocean and its waves; men fainting away with terror and fear at what menaces the world, for the powers of heaven will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. When these things begin to take place, stand erect, hold your heads high, because your liberation is near at hand.' 'Watch yourselves, or your hearts will be coarsened by debauchery and drunkenness and the cares of life, and that day will come upon you unexpectedly, like a trap. For it will come down on all those living on the face of the earth. Stay awake, praying at all times for the strength to survive all that is going to happen, and to hold your ground before the Son of man.'

 

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Yesterday I was buried with Christ,
today I rise with you who are risen.
With you I was crucified;
remember me, Lord, in your kingdom.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Homily

The Gospel we read contains a passage from the sermon on the end times given by Jesus in the temple. With typical apocalyptic language, Jesus announces that the days are coming in which there will be upheavals "in the sun, the moon, and the stars, and on the earth distress among nations." The vision includes the entirety of creation: the very "powers of heaven," Jesus says, "will be shaken." These words are not distant from what is happening in our days. The climate change and the drama of the pandemic shed light on the fragility of the world in which we live and this has raised concern and anxiety for the future. How many people are in distress! It is the distress of the many nations still scarred by war and conflicts, the distress of the millions of people, young and old, who continue to suffer from sickness and hunger; the distress of the many people forced to flee from their homelands, who find no one to help or welcome them; the distress of the many elderly people who are left alone. But Jesus is not a doomsayer. He speaks to help us look at the future without resignation and to sustain our hope for a new world. This is the meaning of Advent that we start today and that returns in this tough time with the hope for a better world. The Gospel exhorts us: "Stand up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near." It is time to stand up. If we stand up to welcome a guest who comes to our home, how much more should we stand up from our habits to welcome the Lord who is coming? Advent is a time to open our eyes and turn them towards the Lord who is coming. Jesus is coming to unbinds the hardened hearts; he clarifies the mind of those who think only about their wellbeing; he opens the ears of those who listen only to their reasons and opens wide the eyes of those who can't see but their horizon. Let the Word of God take our hand and we will reach the blessed cave in Bethlehem. We need to meet that Child. The warning of the gospel is more timely than ever: "Be on guard so that your hearts are not weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and the worries of this life, and that day does not catch you unexpectedly, like a trap. For it will come upon all who live on the face of the whole earth. Be alert at all times, praying" (Lk 21:34-36).
May the days of Advent be a time of listening and reflection, prayer and love. The Word of God will illuminate our steps and warm our hearts. The Apostle Paul's blessing is addressed to us, too: "And may the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, just as we abound in love for you" (1 Thess 3:12). Yes, the season of Advent is a time to listen to the Gospel and renew our love for others. It is on this path that we will encounter the Lord. And since now let us start praying: "Come, Lord Jesus!"