1st Sunday of Advent (A)

November 27, 2022

INTRODUCTIONHOMILIESPAPAL HOMILIESCOMMENTARYECUMENICAL RESOURCESVIDEO ARCHIVEHOMILY STARTERSFAITH SHARINGCHILDREN ACTIVITIESMUSIC

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Pope Francis

March 13, 2013 – Present

1st Sunday of Advent (Year A)

DECEMBER 1, 2019

Watch!

Jesus wants to reawaken us from all this. He does so with a verb: “Watch” (Mt 24:42). 

Consumerism is a virus that tarnishes faith at its root, because it makes you believe that life depends solely on what you have, and so you forget God who approaches you and who is beside you. The Lord comes, but you prefer to follow the longing you feel; your brother knocks at your door, but he is a nuisance to you because he upsets your plans — and this is the attitude of consumerism. In the Gospel, when Jesus points out the dangers of faith, he is not thinking of powerful enemies, hostility and persecution. All these things have been and will be, but they do not weaken faith. The true danger instead is what anaesthetizes the heart: it is dependence on consumption, it is letting things burden and dissipate the heart (cf. Lk 21:34).

Therefore people live on things and no longer know what they live for; they have so many possessions but no longer do good; homes are filled with things but are empty of children. This, the demographic winter we are suffering, is the drama we face today: homes full of things but without children. Time is wasted on pastimes, but people have no time for God and for others. And when we live for things, things are never enough, greed increases and others get in the way and people end up feeling threatened and, as they are ever dissatisfied and angry, the level of hatred rises, “I want more, I want more, I want more…”. We see this today wherever consumerism holds sway: how much violence there is, even if it is only verbal, what anger and what a desire to seek an enemy at all costs! Thus while the world is full of lethal weapons we do not realize that we are continuing to arm our hearts with rage.

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SOURCE: The Holy See Archive at the Vatican Website © Libreria Editrice Vaticana; HOLY MASS FOR THE CONGOLESE COMMUNITY

DECEMBER 1, 2019

Looking Trustfully to the Future

the liturgy leads us to celebrate the Nativity of Jesus, while it reminds us that he comes into our lives every day, and will return gloriously at the end of time.

In today’s First Reading, Isaiah prophesies that “it shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the house of the Lord shall be established as the highest of the mountains, and shall be raised  above the hills; and all the nations shall flow to it” (Is 2:2). The temple of the Lord in Jerusalem is presented as the point of convergence and meeting of all peoples. After the Incarnation of the Son of God, Jesus revealed himself as the true temple. Therefore, the marvellous vision of Isaiah is a divine promise and impels us to assume an attitude of pilgrimage, of a journey towards Christ, the meaning and end of all history. Those who hunger and thirst for justice can only find it by following the ways of the Lord, while evil and sin come from the fact that individuals and social groups prefer to follow paths dictated by selfish interests, which cause conflict and war. Advent is the time to welcome the coming of Jesus, who comes as a messenger of peace to show us the ways of God.

In today’s Gospel, Jesus exhorts us to be ready for His coming: “Watch therefore, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming” (Mt 24:42). Keeping watch  does not mean to have one’s eyes physically open, but to have one’s heart free and facing the right direction, ready to give and to serve. This is keeping watch! The slumber from which we must awaken is constituted of indifference, of vanity, of the inability to establish genuine human relationships, of the inability to take charge of our brother and sister who is alone, abandoned or ill. The expectation of Jesus who is coming must therefore translate into a commitment to vigilance. It is above all a question of wonder before God’s action, at his surprises, and of according him primacy. Vigilance also means, in a concrete sense, being attentive to our neighbour in difficulty, allowing oneself to be called upon by his needs, without waiting for him or her to ask us for help, but learning to foresee, to anticipate, as God always does with us.

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SOURCE: The Holy See Archive at the Vatican Website © Libreria Editrice Vaticana

NOVEMBER 20, 2016

The Visit of the Lord to Humanity

Today, the Lord speaks to us about this final visit, which will take place at the end of time, and he tells us where we will arrive on our journey.

The Word of God emphasizes the contrast between the normal unfolding of events, the everyday routine, and the unexpected coming of the Lord. Jesus says: “For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, and they did not know until the flood came and swept them all away” (vv. 38-39): so says Jesus. It always strikes a cord when we think about the hours which precede a great disaster: everyone is calm, and they go about their usual business without realizing that their lives are about to be turned upside down. Of course, the Gospel does not want to scare us, but to open our horizons to another, greater dimension, one which, on the one hand puts into perspective everyday things, while at the same time making them precious, crucial. The relationship with the God-who-comes-to-visit-us gives every gesture, every thing a different light, a substance, a symbolic value.

From this perspective there also comes an invitation to sobriety, to not be controlled by the things of this world, by material reality, but rather to govern them. If, by contrast, we allow ourselves to be influenced and overpowered by these things, we cannot perceive that there is something very important: our final encounter with the Lord: this is important. That encounter. And everyday matters must have this horizon, and must be directed to that horizon. This encounter with the Lord who comes for us. In that moment, as the Gospel says, “Then two men will be in the field; one is taken and one is left” (v. 40). It is an invitation to be vigilant, because in not knowing when he will come, we need to be ever ready to leave.

Dear brothers and sisters, today we proclaim this singular victory, by which Jesus became the King of every age, the Lord of history: with the sole power of love, which is the nature of God, his very life, and which has no end (cf. 1 Cor 13:8). We joyfully share the splendour of having Jesus as our King: his rule of love transforms sin into grace, death into resurrection, fear into trust.

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SOURCE: The Holy See Archive at the Vatican Website © Libreria Editrice Vaticana

DECEMBER 1, 2013

Life is a Journey

Our life is a path, a journey to meet Jesus. At the end, and forever. A journey in which we do not encounter Jesus is not a Christian journey. .

When do I meet Jesus? Only at the end? No, no! We meet him every day. How? In prayer, when you pray, you meet Jesus. When you receive Communion, you meet Jesus in the Sacraments. When you bring your child to be baptized, you meet Jesus, you find Jesus. And today, you who are receiving Confirmation, you too will encounter Jesus; then you will meet him in Communion. “And then, Father, after Confirmation, goodbye?”, because they say that Confirmation is called “the sacrament of goodbye”. Is this true or not? After Confirmation you never go back to Church: true or false? … so, so! However, after Confirmation even, our whole life is an encounter with Jesus: in prayer, when we go to Mass, and when we do good works, when we visit the sick, when we help the poor, when we think of others, when we are not selfish, when we are loving… in these things we always meet Jesus. And the journey of life is precisely this: journeying in order to meet Jesus.

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SOURCE: The Holy See Archive at the Vatican Website © Libreria Editrice Vaticana; PASTORAL VISIT TO THE ROMAN PARISH OF SAINT CYRIL OF ALEXANDRIA

DECEMBER 1, 2013

Our Journey Never Comes to an End

Just as in each of our lives we always need to begin again, to get up again, to rediscover the meaning of the goal of our lives, so also for the great human family it is always necessary to rediscover the common horizon toward which we are journeying. The horizon of hope!.

Where are we journeying? Is there a common goal? And what is this goal? The Lord responds to us through the prophet Isaiah, saying: “It shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the house of the Lord shall be established as the highest of the mountains, and shall be raised above the hills; and all the nations shall flow to it, and many peoples shall come, and say: ‘Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; that he may teach us his ways and that we may walk in his paths’”(2:2-3). This is what Isaiah says regarding the goal toward which we are travelling. It is a universal pilgrimage toward a common goal, which in the Old Testament is Jerusalem, where the Temple of the Lord rises. For from there, from Jerusalem came the revelation of the Face of God and of his Law. Revelation found its fulfillment in Jesus Christ, and he, the Word made flesh, became the “Temple of the Lord”: he is both guide and goal of our pilgrimage, of the pilgrimage of the entire People of God; and in his light the other peoples may also walk toward the Kingdom of justice, toward the Kingdom of peace. The Prophet continues: “They shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more” (2:4). Allow me to repeat what the Prophet says; listen carefully: “They shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more”. But when will this occur? What a beautiful day it shall be, when weapons are dismantled in order to be transformed into tools for work! What a beautiful day that shall be! And this is possible! Let us bet on hope, on the hope for peace, and it will be possible!

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SOURCE: The Holy See Archive at the Vatican Website © Libreria Editrice Vaticana

homilies

Pope Benedict XVI

April 19, 2005 – February 28, 2013

1st Sunday of Advent (Year A)

NOVEMBER 28, 2010

Expectation

What am I waiting for? What, at this moment of my life, does my heart long for? And this same question can be posed at the level of the family, of the community, of the nation. What are we waiting for together?

Expectation or waiting is a dimension that flows through our whole personal, family and social existence. Expectation is present in thousands of situations, from the smallest and most banal to the most important that involve us completely and in our depths. Among these, let us think of waiting for a child, on the part of a husband and wife; of waiting for a relative or friend who is coming from far away to visit us; let us think, for a young person, of waiting to know his results in a crucially important examination or of the outcome of a job interview; in emotional relationships, of waiting to meet the beloved, of waiting for the answer to a letter, or for the acceptance of forgiveness…. One could say that man is alive as long as he waits, as long as hope is alive in his heart. And from his expectations man recognizes himself: our moral and spiritual “stature” can be measured by what we wait for, by what we hope for.

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SOURCE: The Holy See Archive at the Vatican Website © Libreria Editrice Vaticana;

DECEMBER 2, 2007

Welcome the Lord at All Times

His nearness is always a source of peace, and if suffering, a legacy of human nature, sometimes becomes unbearable, with the Saviour’s advent “suffering – without ceasing to be suffering – becomes, despite everything, a hymn of praise” (Spe Salvin. 37).

The Gospel passage that has just been proclaimed exhorts us to be “watchful”, which is among other things the key word of the whole of this liturgical period: “Watch, therefore, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming” (Mt 24: 42). Jesus, who came among us at Christmas and will return in glory at the end of time, does not tire of visiting us continuously in everyday events. He asks us to be alert to perceive his presence, his advent, and recommends that we watch and wait for him since his coming is not programmed or foretold but will be sudden and unexpected. Only those who are alert are not taken by surprise. He warns: may it not happen to you as in Noah’s day, when men ate and drank heedlessly and were swept away unprepared by the flood (cf. Mt 24: 37-38). What does the Lord want to make us understand with this warning, other than we must not let ourselves be absorbed by material realities and concerns to the point of being ensnared by them? We must live in the eyes of the Lord with the conviction that he can make himself present. If we live in this way, the world will become better.

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SOURCE: The Holy See Archive at the Vatican Website © Libreria Editrice Vaticana; PASTORAL VISIT OF THE HOLY FATHER BENEDICT XVI TO “ST JOHN THE BAPTIST” ROMAN HOSPITAL OF THE SOVEREIGN MILITARY HOSPITALLER ORDER OF MALTA

homilies

Pope Saint John Paul II

October 16, 1978 – April 2, 2005

1st Sunday of Advent (Year A)

NOVEMBER 22, 1998

“Let Us Go Joyfully to Meet the Lord” 

These are the words of the Responsorial Psalm for today’s liturgy of the First Sunday of Advent, a liturgical season which from year to year renews our expectation of Christ’s coming. .

In today’s Gospel we heard the Lord’s invitation to be watchful: “Watch, therefore, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming”. And then immediately: “Therefore you also must be ready; for the Son of man is coming at an hour you do not expect” (Mt 24:42, 44). The exhortation to be watchful resounds many times in the liturgy, especially in Advent, a season of preparation not only for Christmas, but also for Christ’s definitive and glorious coming at the end of time. It therefore has a distinctly eschatological meaning and invites the believer to spend every day and every moment in the presence of the One “who is and who was and who is come” (Rv 1:4), to whom the future of the world and of man belongs. This is Christian hope! Without this prospect, our existence would be reduced to living for death.

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SOURCE: The Holy See Archive at the Vatican Website © Libreria Editrice Vaticana; PRESENTATION OF THE BULL OF INDICTION OF THE GREAT JUBILEE OF THE YEAR 2000

 

RELATED WEBSITES

The Homilies of Pope Francis (The Catholic Register)

Pope Francis Homilies

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