Happy New Year! What’s that, you say? It’s not January 1? No, but it is the beginning of a new Liturgical Year. The First Sunday of Advent marks the beginning of a new year in the Church calendar. Over the last week, our readings have taken on a very apocalyptic tone, urging us to be ready for the return of the Lord. Interestingly, today’s Gospel reading we have heard over the course of the past week.
The theme of Advent is to be prepared. It is a time of anticipation, expectation and preparedness. Of course, this all leads up to the birth of Christ, the first coming of the Messiah. In the Gospel reading today, Jesus reminds us to “stand erect and raise your heads because your redemption is at hand.” But how can sinful little creatures like us do that? Through faith in Christ and living a life of holiness.
In the second reading today from 1 Thessalonians, St. Paul tells us what we are supposed to be all about. “Be blameless in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his holy ones.” Now, I don’t know about you, but blameless and holy are not words that I would use to describe myself. Nevertheless, that is the goal. We can’t do it on our own, but we can do it – with God. Because with God, all things are possible.
Father, help us to be blameless and holy, ready for the coming of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.