Today’s Thoughts: On this First Sunday of Advent I find a line in Scripture that often gives me pause, "They shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks; one nation shall not raise the sword against another, nor shall they train for war again.." (Isaiah 2:4). To me, these words from Isaiah are so profound and hopeful. To think that one day there will be no war and that people will not have to be trained to fight. I know this will not happen in my lifetime, perhaps not in anyone’s lifetime but it is still a hope that rests in my heart and soul.
As we begin Advent our reading focuses us and offer us a chance to allow hope to take root in our hearts. Isaiah focuses us on God’s holy mountain. Mountains for the Israelites were place of God’s special presence. Perhaps what Isaiah and the Church are remaining us of as we begin Advent is that we need to make sure where our holy mountains are in life. Where do we go to connect with God? Where do we go to give life to hope?
St. Paul challenges us today to be awake, to look for God in our world and in our life. Advent is a time to stop and refocus our busy lives. It is a time to fine that holy mountain in our lives that will connect us to God and help us to find the true priorities and to allow hope to grow within us even in a very difficult and struggling world.
In Matthew’s Gospel, Jesus uses an opportunity to remain his disciples and us that we always need to be ready. It is a universal theme in Advent. We always need to be ready for the moments and times that God comes into our lives. The great Dominican mystic Meister Eckhart said in one of his Christmas homilies that Jesus is born three times. The first time was two thousand plus years ago when he was born into our life in Bethlehem; the second is when he will come again and the third is each day in our hearts.
Advent is a new beginning, a time of hopefulness, a time to look at the trials, tribulations, struggles, disappointments, difficulties of life and say I am ready! To say we are ready! As we begin our journey through Advent may we take the words of the scriptures to heart today and everyday throughout this Advent Season and always – Let us be hope filled and “be prepared, for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come."
Have a great Sunday everyone and don’t forget to give God a little of your time today.
Fr. Paul R. Fagan, C.P. "Preacher on the Run"
Just a few thoughts to help you on your journey through life...let me know from time to time what you think...