• Wartakanlah Injil kepada segala makhluk.
    Mrk 16:15

  • 你们往普天下去, 向一切受造物宣传福音
    谷 16:15

  • Everything is possible by the power of the Holy Spirit’s Grace.
    St Arnold Janssen

  • Segala sesuatu menjadi mungkin dalam kekuatan karunia Roh Kudus.
    St. Arnold Janssen

  • 我当传教士不是为主牺牲,而是上主给我的最大恩赐

  • Với sức mạnh Ân Huệ của Chúa Thánh Thần, Mọi việc đều có thể được.
    St Arnoldus Janssen

  • Preach the Gospel to the whole creation./Anh em hãy đi khắp tứ phương thiên hạ, loan báo Tin Mừng cho mọi loài thọ tạo
    Mk 16:15

  • There are many different gifts, but it is always the same Spirit.
    1 Cor 12:4

  • And the Word became flesh and lived among us.
    Jn 1:14

  • Let the word of Christ, in all its richness, find a home with you.
    Col 3:16

  • To proclaim the Good News is the first and greatest act of love of neighbour.
    St Arnold Janssen

  • 传扬天国福音是第一且最大的爱近人行动

  • Có nhiều đặc sủng khác nhau, nhưng chỉ có một Thần Khí/
    1 Cor. 14:4

  • 圣言成了血肉,寄居在我们中间
    若 1:14

  • Ada rupa-rupa karunia, tetapi Roh satu
    1 Kor 12:4

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Friday, 30 November 2018 19:41

First Sunday of Advent - Year C - 2018

Written by Fr Elmer Ibarra SVD

First Sunday of Advent

Luke 21, 25-28, 34-36

Fr Elmer Ibarra 150 Best“Religious extremism is on the rise!”, “Massive earthquake in Indonesia!”, “Severe droughts in Australia!”, “Russia is on a warpath with Ukraine!”, whenever we hear these headlines, it brings chills down our spines, and with it we could be forgiven for thinking that the end of the world as we know it is coming. 

In the gospel for today, Jesus sends a chilling message to his disciples about his Second Coming. His description about the Second Coming is quite detailed and quite frightening to his listeners during his time and the same would be for today. 

During the time of Christ, there were so many rumours of upheavals that were happening. We have to understand that Palestine was under the Roman Empire and this fact was greatly resented by the Jews. For them they should have independence and be free from any foreign occupation. The Romans though were very quick to quell even the smallest sign of rebellion. Historians said that there was a rebellion and the Romans crucified hundreds of rebels. It was said that they were so many that they ran out of wood that the Romans resorted to crucifying people at the walls of Jerusalem. The Jews pinned their hopes that one day a Messiah will come and bring the Roman occupation to an end. And with this plenty of men who were pretending to the Messiah started appearing and some even started a sort of rebellion to challenge the Roman Empire and ended up being killed or crucified together with their band of followers. That is why in the gospel for today, Jesus is pointing out signs from the heavens as a prelude to his Second Coming and the beginning of his reign as we know it. 

We now begin the season of Advent and the beginning of the liturgical year. We should realise though that the season of Advent is divided into two. The first part is the call for repentance and the anticipation of the Second Coming of Christ. The second part focuses on the important events that would lead us to the First Coming of Christ during that first Christmas Day, when Christ was born into this world. 

Jesus today in the gospel is reminding us to be ready on that day. Sadly, for many of us because we love our lives on earth a little bit too much that instead of joy and watchful anticipation for the Second Coming of Christ, we have focused too much on the terrible things that would happen in this world. We have so much fear when we hear of wars and conflicts around the world. And while we do have a valid reason to be fearful and sad with what is happening in the world, sometimes we do forget of what is truly important and that is to be ready to stand up and receive our redemption when we face Jesus at the end of time or most probably at the end of our lives. It is an event that we are supposed to look forward for with great joy and anticipation. 

As to when, where and how it will happen, it is something that we cannot say. There were many who tried to predict when it would happen but it ended up with failure, well at least they had their “fifteen minutes of fame” and a few documentaries here and there. However, what is more important is to be ready when it happens. We wouldn’t want to miss out on an event that is so important and what we have been looking forward to for the longest time. As the gospels said, it will catch us like a trap. What we should do is to continue to live our lives as normal but with anticipation that we should be ready when that day comes. 

The season of Advent is a joyful season of preparation and anticipation. It is a season where we are given this opportunity to look at what we have done for the past year and how we could do better next time. It is also a perfect time to be reconciled with God through the Sacrament of Reconciliation. A time where we express our sorrow and receive with joy the forgiveness of our sins. It is also a time to be reconciled with people that we have somehow displeased in the past. A time to bury the hatchet and start all over again. We should be grateful that Advent is giving us all these opportunities so that when the time comes that we are to face Jesus, we have hold our heads high and receive our long-awaited redemption that Jesus is giving to as our Christmas gift.