SUNDAYS
Prev
Next

1st Sun Advent C
Sunday 28th November 2021


Image supplied by Kathy Curran
Prev
Next

Exposition

Christian conversion is promoted by conversation. This section is a response to and a development on the knowledge gained from the commentary section.

This Sunday's Exposition

Post the Bali, 9/11, Madrid, Paris terrorist attacks, the horror of Boko Haram in Nigeria, we know what the events in this Gospel could be like. Post the Boxing Day and 2011 Tohoku earthquakes and tsunami, we have seen, if not experienced, what terror looks like. And now in the midst of the Covid Pandemic…so why are we reading this Gospel in preparation for Christmas? Indeed, Jesus was preaching this just before his death and aren’t we preparing to remember his birth? So maybe we need to stop and consider just what this birth was bringing our world.

It is so easy to get swept away on the sweet images of Christmas. The first Christmas my sister’s eldest child realised what was happening, she said to me ‘This is what Christmas is all about!’ No, sister dear, it is not. It is not about children, or even adults, delighting in gifts, as sweet as that is. Christmas is about God coming into a world that is in serious trouble: a world where disaster, grief, suffering and distress cut across every life. God comes into such a world to give hope…and comes as a helpless baby! To discover that type of hope we have to, indeed, must take up seriously Jesus’ injunctions in today’s Gospel to become sensitive to the grace that is being offered us.

‘Be alert!’ ‘Pray at all times!’ ‘Don’t let your hearts get coarsened.’ The hope that God is offering us is not going to hit us over the head. It is something we have to allow ourselves to become sensitive to. Imagine sitting in a darkened room, allowing yourself to become still. As your preoccupations are set aside, you become conscious of another in the room, another who loves you dearly. As was well said by a medieval author, ‘Faith is a face to face vision in the dark.’ The darkness that we experience in our world comes from many sources: the tragedies of nature and illness, sin within ourselves, of our families, of our church, the suffering we all have and have to face. Most of this is simply beyond us. But Jesus says: do not walk away, hold your heads high, not in defiance or in personal pride but rather to be alert and prepared for the signs of the coming of Jesus Christ. Trusting in him we must enter the darkness…and in God’s grace and good time it will be turned to light.

Prev
Next