Daily Reflection – Dec 2, 2018
Sunday 2 December 2018
First Reading: JER 33:14-16
To you, O Lord, I lift my soul.
PS 25:4-5, 8-9, 10, 14
Second Reading: 1 THES 3:12—4:2
Gospel Reading: LK 21:25-28, 34-36
Today’s Note: First Sunday of Advent
Jesus said to his disciples:
“There will be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars,
and on earth nations will be in dismay,
perplexed by the roaring of the sea and the waves.
People will die of fright
in anticipation of what is coming upon the world,
for the powers of the heavens will be shaken.
And then they will see the Son of Man
coming in a cloud with power and great glory.
But when these signs begin to happen,
stand erect and raise your heads
because your redemption is at hand.
“Beware that your hearts do not become drowsy
from carousing and drunkenness
and the anxieties of daily life,
and that day catch you by surprise like a trap.
For that day will assault everyone
who lives on the face of the earth.
Be vigilant at all times
and pray that you have the strength
to escape the tribulations that are imminent
and to stand before the Son of Man.”
The days are coming, says the Lord . . . (Jeremiah 33:14)
We often talk about “The Christmas Story,” as if it were one single story. Actually, it’s made up of a number of individual stories, each of which tells us something unique about the Christ child. The story of the Annunciation tells us about Mary’s openness to God’s plan. The story of Zechariah and Elizabeth tells us how John the Baptist—Jesus’ forerunner—was called at birth. The stories of the shepherds and the Magi tell us that Jesus is worth searching for.
There’s another story we don’t often think about because it’s not as long. It’s the story of the innkeeper whose closed doors led Mary and Joseph to the manger. But just imagine for a moment that he did manage to find room for them after all. His inn, not the manger, would be honored throughout the world. There would likely be a grand church marking its location, and pilgrims would flock to it year after year.
As Advent begins, let’s not be like the innkeeper. He missed a grand opportunity because he didn’t make room for Jesus.
Many of us will gather with family and friends this Christmas. Anyone who has hosted these gatherings will tell you how time consuming the preparations can be. They want to create a pleasant, welcoming environment, so everything has to be just right. But no matter how much work is involved, they don’t mind. The thought of seeing everyone together makes the work feel lighter.
Let’s have this same attitude toward Jesus. Let’s get ready with joy and anticipation, even if it involves some work on our part. Let’s embrace the opportunities to pray a little more, to examine our lives, and to show more love to the people around us.
Our first reading tells us that “the days are coming” when God will visit his people (Jeremiah 33:14). Let’s dedicate the next twenty-three days to making our hearts as open and welcoming as possible so that Jesus will find a comfortable home there.
“Lord, help me to make time for you this Advent.”