Homily For The First Sunday Of Advent, Year A

The Prince Of Peace Comes In Glory And Majesty

Readings: 1st: Ish 2, 1-5; Ps: 122; 2nd: Rom 13, 11-14; Gos: Mtt 24, 37-44

This brief reflection was written by Fr. Njoku Canice Chukwuemeka, C.S.Sp. He is a Catholic Priest and a member of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit (Spiritans). He is a missionary in Puerto Rico. He is the Parish Priest of Parroquia la Resurrección del Senor, Canóvanas, and the Major Superior of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit (Spiritans), Circumscription of Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. He was the chancellor of the Diocese of Fajardo Humacao, Puerto Rico. Fr. Canice is a member of the Academy of Homiletics. For more details and comments contact him at: 

canice_c_njoku@yahoo.com, canicechukwuemeka@gmail.com

(https://orcid.org/0000-0002-8452-8392)

Today is the first Sunday of Advent, year A. We all desire peace because it is necessary for our spiritual and material progress. We pray for this peace and expect Jesus, the prince of peace, to bring it to our hearts, families, and world at the end of this season.

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Advent comes from two Latin words Ad-Ventus, which means “to arrive,” or Ad-venire, meaning “to come.” For Christians, particularly Catholics, it means expecting the Lord’s coming. Advent marks the beginning of the Church’s new liturgical calendar. It is a four-week preparation period leading up to Christmas.

So, on this first Sunday of Advent, the church urges us to rejoice because that night of long pilgrimage to God’s eternal city of peace will soon be fruitful. The reign of peace is close at hand. Therefore, we must wake up and be ready to receive Christ in our lives, families, and nation. In the first reading, prophet Isaiah says: “We see the mountain of the temple of the Lord, already etched against the Eastern sky.” The prophet uplifts our spirits with his vision of the imminent reign of peace which the Messiah will initiate

The Messiah whom we expect this season comes to us with peace. Though “he will wield authority,” he will not oppress or exploit us. Instead, He shall transform our culture of war into that of peace: “…They shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore.

Unfortunately, this verse decorates the wall of the United Nations building in New York, yet peace has eluded our world under its leadership. Instead of living together in harmony, we see more divisions and breakups of unions and friendships. The reason is quite simple, “international morality, which is the basis of secularism and humanism,” alone without spirituality does not work. Only the reign of Christ in every heart and nation can bring lasting peace.

To usher in this reign of peace successfully, the second reading and the gospel call us to be ready and awake. Paul announces the closeness of our Saviour, the Prince of peace: “Our salvation is even nearer than it was when we were converted.” He also reminds us that: “The time has come.”

The time he means here is not earthly (Chronos) but God’s time (kairos). God’s appointed time is to save his people and restore peace to all troubled hearts, families, businesses, and nations. Hence, Paul advises: “Let us live decently, as people do in the daytime, with no warning or jealousy. Let your amour be the Lord Jesus Christ.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H88jnoBbPmY

Finally, the gospel is a wake-up call to all of us Christians. The evangelist admonishes us to: “Stay awake!” It is crucial because this is a season of great awakening, preparation, and expectation of the birth of the Messiah. It is a season that will culminate in an outburst of great joy. It is a season of prayer when all Christians must turn to God in prayer. Therefore, with the psalmist, I pray for all my dear friends, companions, and people of God: “Peace be to your homes! May peace reign in your hearts!”

Peace be with you all!

Maranatha!

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