He’s Coming – First Sunday of Advent

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First Sunday of Advent

Matthew 24:37-44

Jesus said to his disciples:

“As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. In those days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day that Noah entered the ark. They did not know until the flood came and carried them all away. So will it be also at the coming of the Son of Man. Two men will be out in the field; one will be taken, and one will be left. Two women will be grinding at the mill; one will be taken, and one will be left. Therefore, stay awake! For you do not know on which day your Lord will come. Be sure of this: if the master of the house had known the hour of night when the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and not let his house be broken into. So too, you also must be prepared, for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come.”


Opening Prayer: Lord, I believe in your abiding presence, I hope in your boundless mercy, and I love you for who you are. Strengthen my faith, hope, and love, Lord, for you know how weak I am. Lord, grant me a spirit of watchfulness “until you come again.”


Encountering Christ:


  1. The Second Coming Reminds Us of the First: As we begin the Advent season, we prepare our hearts for Christ’s first coming at Christmas. However, the Church presents the Second Coming of Jesus to us through the readings in the first weeks of Advent. Why is that? So that we prepare our hearts for Christ’s coming, not just at Christmas, but at all times. He comes to us in the Eucharist at Mass and in our brothers and sisters, and one day he will come again in glory. What are the attitudes of my heart at the beginning of this Advent?
  2. “…the Son of Man Will Come…”: Every Sunday we pray in the Nicene Creed: “…He will come again to judge the living and the dead…” Oftentimes we can pass over these words in haste, softening their full impact. We are saying that we truly believe that Jesus will return–at an unknown time, certainly, but that he will return. As I let those words sink in, do I really believe them? Would I be ready if Jesus were to come again tonight?
  3. Stay Awake!: Jesus’s admonition to stay awake should instantly remind us of his words to the disciples in the Garden of Gethsemane: “So you could not keep watch with me for one hour? Watch and pray that you may not undergo the test” (Matthew 26:40-41). The disciples had no idea that Jesus was about to be taken from them, even though he prophesied it at the Last Supper. In much the same way, our own “rapture” will be sudden: “…one will be taken, and one will be left.” By availing myself of the sacraments, especially Reconciliation, I am preparing myself for the moment that the Lord calls me. 

Conversing with Christ: Lord, I want to be ready for your coming–not just at Christmas, but at all times. Grant me the grace to “stay awake,” even if the busy holiday season distracts me or wears me down and I grow weary. 


Resolution: Lord, today by your grace I will spend a few minutes examining my conscience before going to bed.


For Further Reflection: For help with examination of conscience, pick the one that works for you, courtesy of the USCCB. 

Br. Brian Flanagan, LC, is a seminarian studying classical humanities with the Legionaries of Christ in Cheshire, Connecticut. He is from Atlanta, Georgia, and has been in the Legion since 2016. He can be contacted at bflanagan@legionaries.org.

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