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Dec 2, 2017 Written by  Rev. Fr. Paulino Twesigye Mondo

1st Sunday of Advent Year B Be the first to comment!

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Theme: Experience

Every year we celebrate the incarnation of Christ on 25 December and none of us need to be reminded about that date. However, the Church also supplies a period of preparation. Advent is a time to prepare and anticipate the coming of Christ. It is a time to get excited about the reality of God’s plans for humanity. It is a time that reminds us to stay alert and watchful. To be practical; there are various ways we can prepare this Advent including putting aside some of our savings so as to support the needy, whose who have no family and those who cannot afford any celebration. Advent prepares us for the coming into time and space the person of Jesus in human flesh thus allowing us to share the mystery of faith. This is a great gift that God allows us.

First reading: Isaiah 63:16-17, 64:1.3-8

Isaiah’s prophecies and visions have perennially set the tone for Advent suggesting that believers can best prepare a welcome for God by surrendering to the divine mercy and forgiveness as clay submits to the hands of a potter. Not an altogether attractive analogy, particularly in a generation which touts the importance of independence, this Isaiah’s image of potter and clay warrants serious consideration. King Cyrus made a surprise announcement that all captives in Babylon we allowed to return to their own land after 538 B.C. Instead of rejoicing, the freed captives fell into discouragement by what seemed a daunting task of the reconstruction of their former way of life erupting into grief. Ironically it was Israel who had departed from God, in a moral as well as in a geographic sense thus causing a messy life. This not withstanding, Isaiah calls upon God to return.

Isaiah acknowledges human culpability for sin without making any distinction between the active will of God which intends good of all and the permissive will of God which, out of respect for human freedom allows those who choose to do so to stray. God cannot be blamed for human sin, instead in the context of this lament the mystery of the divine providence and sovereignty over every area of human life is recognized. Isaiah shows Israel that in real life, humanity may find itself saying I am sorry. Israel come to learn that things were not as they should be and in that experience of disorientation, turned to God and demanded help of the only one capable of redeeming them from their situation.

Faith assists the human person to honestly face the distress caused by sin and effectively start a dialogue with God. Israel’s infidelity to the law and covenant become a turning point in gaining reciprocal trust to the extent that the exiles acknowledged God like prodigal children saying please return for “you are our father” Isaiah 63:16. They fully expect God to parent them once again. Israel’s absence of doubts and unshakeable trust forms a fitting atmosphere for Advent spirituality wherein, each year, all of us the sinful people wait in bold anticipation for the past, present and future comings of God. This season of Advent invite us to yield and pray each day: “Would that you might meet us doing right, that we were mindful of you in our ways!” Isaiah 64:4. This is supposed to be our approach to the mysteries of God during this holy season.

Second reading: 1Corintians 1:3-9

Today, Paul reminds us that each of us has been duly equipped for recognize the Lord. Good gift of speech, knowledge and spiritual blessing are available to those who appropriate them in trusting faith. Because of the impressive network of 350,000 Kms of roads that linked the Roman Empire; the Roman peace and the imperial postal service begun by Emperor Augustus greatly enhanced the correspondence among early Christians. In his text about the spread of the Church, St. Irenaeus wrote, “the Romans have given the world peace and we travel without fear along the roads across the sea wherever we will.” Among the cities which benefited from this was Corinth. All travel routes, whether by land or sea converged in Corinth. We are aware that Paul traveled to Corinth after an unsuccessful mission in Athens. Seeing great possibilities for a Christian foundation in the city, he worked for about eighteen months to secure it. While he was not able to return to Corinth for several years, Paul continued sending them missionaries and letters which offered guidance and inspiration.

In a spirit of thanksgiving; we need to remain grateful and to celebrate the blessings enjoyed from the divine favor of speech, love and knowledge that has made us children of God. In reality; we are sustained in the present by the God whose coming does not fade. We already have one foot in the future in which we find the hope to continue to live the Advent experience.

Gospel: Mark 13:33-37

In today’s gospel Mark encourages us to be constantly on the watch and be always prepared for a divine surprise. Like the psalmist we need to admire God who puts wisdom on the mouths of babes cf. Psalm 8:3. When we miss being alert and watchful, we risk not encountering God in the new born savior who comes in simplicity at a time less expected. Mark, today, advises all of us to remain watchful and alert like good servants who go about our daily tasks doing the best expected us while awaiting the coming of Christ. Such admonitions are repeated each Advent to awaken in us a sense of imminent coming of Jesus. Ours is to foster an attitude of quiet and a childlike eagerness with which to prepare a favorable welcome.

Significantly, each of the servants illustrated by Mark has been given a specific task by the master which St. Paul refers to as unique gifts and charisms cf. 1Corinthians 12 while Luke and Matthew regard them as talents in trust. While most of us spend time in anticipation of receiving gifts, the spirituality of Advent challenges us to acknowledge and develop gifts that each one of us has already been given. All we have ought to be devoted towards the realization of the coming reign of God in Christ, God made man. During his earthly ministry, Jesus professed being ignorant of the specifics of the end time. Neither would his disciples or any one else be privy to that information. But rather than being frenzied by anxiety and lulled into idleness imagination; Jesus calls for constant conscientiousness and a sharp eye.

Application

We need to be convinced that Life is in movement where we are actors of the game walking steadily on our feet into salvation. The intention of Christmas is not to make us victims of routine rhythm that appears on an annual calendar every year; instead, we are responsible stewards always hoping for the best which not less than eternal salvation. Ours is to stay awake.

 

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Luganda: 7:30 am.  English: 9:00 am, 11:00 am and 5;00 pm.

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About Our Church

Welcome to Our Lady of Africa Parish Mbuya. We are located near Bugolobi Township in Nakawa Division. It is about 5 kms from the City Centre of Kampala. Mbuya Catholic Parish is a vibrant and diverse community made up of people from different parts of Uganda. We welcome you warmly and joyfully.

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