1st Sunday of Advent (A)

November 27, 2022


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Mass Readings Explained

Hearers of the Word

Integral Faith

Agape Bible


courtesy of Larry Broding


MT 24:38

Notice Jesus did not criticism the evil nature of the people in the time of Noah (although that may have been understood). Instead, he compared the complacency of his audience with Noah’s peers. They were so consumed with the problems of daily living, they did not see the coming troubles.

MT 24:40-41

The end will come so suddenly, it will seem people would be taken without warning. Taken in context with MT 24:38, Jesus simply stressed the complacency of his audience vs. the swift nature of the coming Kingdom. One cannot read the so-called “rapture” into these verses, for the destination of those “taken” was unknown. With the Beatitudes in view (MT 5:1-12), those left behind could have been the blessed (“the meek shall inherit the land”), while the taken were condemned.
While not explicitly stated, the gender distinction between MT 24:40 and MT 24:41 lay in the Greek endings of the word “two.” In MT 24:40 the ending was masculine; in MT 24:41 the ending was feminine.
The mill mentioned in MT 24:41 was a hand mill operated by two people.

MT 24:42

Notice the interesting shift in titles. MT 24:37-39 and MT 24:44 spoke of the “Son of Man,” while MT 24:42 spoke of “your Lord.” The command to “stay awake” was for the follower.

MT 24:43

“not allow his house to be dug threw” In the time of Jesus, common dwellings had mud caked walls. Thieves would break into a dwelling by digging through the walls. Hence, family members would take turns keeping a night watch of three or four hours at a time. If the homeowner could anticipate the time of attack, he would take that watch himself so he could coordinate a defense.

MT 24:44

“you, be prepared ” The word “you” was added by Jesus for emphasis.
Used with Permission

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Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an unexpected hour

Advent 1 dovetails with the themes which closed the previous liturgical year —the end of the world, judgement and
preparation. Advent 2 and 3 take us to two moments in the career of John the Baptist, that iconic Advent figure—his
proclamation (Advent 2) and his questions about Jesus’ identity (Advent 3). For Advent 4, we go backwards in time to the story of the conception of Jesus. Naturally, the theme of Matt 1:18-24 is most suitable on the Sunday nearest Christmas.


SOURCE: Dr. Kieran J. O’Mahony, OSA

First Sunday of Advent (A)


Advent: A season of waiting, hope, and expectation

SOURCE: Catholic Climate Covenant and the Association of Unites States Catholic Priests

First Sunday of Advent (A)


Be Watchful and Be Prepared

Christians believe that death is not the end, but it is a new beginning.  At the end of our earthly lives, or if Christ’s Second Advent precedes that event, each of us will be stepping out into an eternity of blessings or an eternity of sorrow.  It was in the First Advent of Jesus the Messiah that both covenant blessings and judgments for the first time became eternal, unlike the temporal blessings and judgments of the Old Covenants in which both the righteous and the sinners awaited the coming of the Redeemer-Messiah in Sheol (in Greek Hades, the grave; see CCC 633 and Jesus’ description of the netherworld in Lk 16:19-31).


The Promise of the Messianic Age

God began to prepare the peoples of the earth for the eternity that awaits them through His holy prophets by laying out the choice between two destinies: the path that ends in life and the way that ends in death.  In the First Reading, the 8th century BC prophet Isaiah wrote about the promised Messianic Age and the “light” of the Lord that will call all the peoples of the earth to receive the message of the way to salvation that will ultimately result in peace and justice for all peoples of all nations.  The Messianic Era of Christ’s Kingdom of the Church will end with the Second Advent of Jesus that will bring the Last Judgment for all peoples of the earth from every generation (CCC 1038-41).


Awareness of the End Time

St. Paul reminds us in the Second Reading, and Jesus warns us in today’s Gospel Reading that we must guard our lives by living in the obedience of faith to prepare for the day when Christ returns.  We do not know the day or the hour of His coming (Mt 24:36).  Therefore, we must maintain our souls in a state of grace in readiness for our Savior’s return since the exact time is unknown.  Jesus uses the comparison of such an unexpected event to a thief plundering a man’s house.  He urges all of us, men and women of every generation, to prepare for His coming at the hour of our death and in the final hour for all humanity.  When Christ returns in glory as the King of the Universe, He will take us with Him, as the psalmist sings, rejoicing into the heavenly “house of the Lord” where we will experience the blessedness of eternal union with the Most Holy Trinity.


A Warning to Be Alert for the Day of His Coming

There are three possible interpretations of this passage:

  1. The unknown time of the coming tribulation and judgment on the Jerusalem of Jesus’ generation.
  2. The unknown hour of the Second Coming of Christ at the end of time.
  3. The unknown moment of one’s death, when each person will face divine judgment.

Jesus makes a point of comparing His coming in judgment to the days of Noah in verses 37-39.  The point is the unexpected nature of the final crisis.  In the days of Noah, people were doing the ordinary things people do up to the moment the flood judgment swept them away.  It will be the same for us.  The point of the two people doing the same tasks with one “taken” and the other “left behind” points out not only the common theme of daily life that will be suddenly ended in the crisis but also the division that will come about “when the Son of Man will come” (verse 44) in judgment (see Jesus’ teaching on division in Mt 10:34-35).

Jesus urges vigilance since the exact time of His return is unknown.  The comparison of such an unexpected event to a thief plundering a man’s house appears five times in the New Testament (Mt 24:43; 1 Thes 5:2; 2 Pt 3:10; Rev 3:3; 16:15).  In verse 44, Jesus urges all of us, men and women of every generation, to prepare for His coming in the hour of our death and the final hour for all humanity.

For centuries Christians have attempted to calculate the day of Christ’s return, but it is foolish for people to speculate about the time of Christ’s Second Coming. (cf. Mt 24:36).  It is better, therefore, to live as though He is coming in the next minute and to keep one’s life continually right with God and free from sin.  Jesus warned His disciples if anyone says he knows when Jesus is returning, avoid that person because he is a false prophet (Mt 24:22-23; also see CCC 1040).

We must be ready for Christ’s return by continually turning away from sin and back to God by living in a state of grace and in communion with our Lord.  If we are unprepared, we will be like the five foolish virgins of Jesus’ parable in Matthew 25:1-13; we will not be ready for Jesus, our “Bridegroom,” who is our also our Lord and King.  His Parousia (an ancient Greek word meaning “presence, arrival, or official visit”) will be as Jesus warned when He said: So stay awake, because you do not know either the day or the hour! (Mt 24:42).  And as St. Paul warns in 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17 ~  But we shall only meet Him in glory if we are watchful and prepared for the coming of our eternal Bridegroom!

SOURCE: Agape Bible Study – Michal Elizabeth Hunt (Used with permission)

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