✝️ REFLECTION CAPSULE – November 27, 2022: Sunday

“Making this Advent a time of true preparation with repentance, and with growth in holiness!”

(Based on Is 2:1-5, Rom 13:11-14 and Mt 24:37-44 – 1st Sunday of Advent, Cycle A)

A story is narrated of a group of students who were taken around
different places in a village.

They came upon an orange orchard,
where an irrigation pump had broken down.

The climate was unusually dry and many of the trees were
beginning to dry and die, for lack of water.

The man who was guiding the tour – himself a farmer – then took
the students to his own orchard.

The students were surprised to see the green trees in this
particular fruit garden.

To know the reason, one of the students enquired the guide:
“How is it that trees in your orchard are so fresh and green; you
are not even using irrigation!

Whereas, most of the trees in this vicinity are dying!”

“These trees could go without rain, even for another two weeks!”
answered the guide…
… “You see, when these trees were young, I frequently and
systematically, kept them away from water for some time.

This hardship, caused them to send their roots, deeper into
the soil, in search of moisture.

Now my trees are the deepest-rooted trees in this area!

While others are being scorched by the sun…
… mine are finding moisture at great depth
And thus, they remain fresh and green!”

The early schooling in hardship…
… helped the trees to find strength in difficult times

And thus remained fresh and green!

Christian Life calls for a life of endurance in faith

It is this endurance that will help one to remain ever faithful,
ever alert and ever ready in the service of the Lord.

The Gospel is a call to avoid all complacency and lethargy…
… and to be ever fresh and green in our faith, so as to be always
ready for the Advent of the Lord!

We begin today – on this First Sunday of Advent – with a new
Liturgical Year.

A Liturgical Year begins on the First Sunday of
Advent and ends on the Solemnity of Christ the King.  

Each year is made up of six seasons: Advent, Christmas, Lent,
the Sacred Paschal Triduum, Easter and Ordinary Time.

St Augustine teaches us that “the perfection of religion is to
imitate the One Whom we adore!”

The Liturgical Year is a beautiful journey into the mysteries
of Christ with emphasis on the fundamental truth that Jesus has redeemed us by His Passion, Death and Resurrection
… it is from this truth, that love flows – and in turn, we are
empowered and encouraged to imitate Christ! 

The Season of Advent is presented to the faithful as a time of
waiting, conversion and of hope!

As the Catechism of the Catholic Church guides us, “When
the Church celebrates the liturgy of Advent each year, she makes
present this ancient expectancy of the Messiah…
… the faithful renew their ardent desire for His second coming.
(Cf. CCC, #524)

We are reminded that Christ comes to us…
… in History – as we celebrate His Birth at Bethlehem
… in Mystery – as we celebrate His Presence in the Sacraments,
prayer and our daily life
… in Majesty – as we prepare ourselves – in hope – for His Glorious
Second Coming!

At the start of this new Liturgical Year and as we commence our
preparation for Christmas, we are presented with (interestingly)
a Gospel passage that speaks about the end of the world!

We are very strongly exhorted about the need to be ever ready
and prepared for the coming of the Lord…
… and to avoid every tendency to be complacent and lethargic!

An impactful reminder given by Jesus is about the days of Noah:
“As were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of
man… they did not know until the flood came and swept them
all away, so will be the coming of the Son of man.” (Cf. Mt 24:37,
39)

While Noah was patiently building the ark and warning people
of the impending judgment, they laughed, “It will never happen.”

Very similarly, we too live in an age where there is much casualness,
lethargy and indifference concerning matters of spiritual life!

There is often a lot of disdain towards a life of holiness!

As Christians – as followers of Christ – we need to be alert,
enthusiastic and enduring in our faith and pursuit of
holiness.

Faithfulness, ought to become the hallmark of our lives!
Endurance in works of love, ought to become our lifestyle!
Readiness to be ever focussed on being holy, ought to be our
goal!

As we enter into this hallowed time of preparation for the Coming
of Christ, let us be alert to live a life of endurance in faith…
… knowing that it is this endurance that will help us to remain
ever faithful, ever alert and ever ready in the service of the Lord!

Let these days of Advent truly become days of preparation – not
just externally with decorations, sweets and festivities…
… but much more with repentance, and with growth in holiness!

God Bless! Live Jesus!


📖 Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism
RECONCILIATION WITH THE CHURCH

The words bind and loose mean: whomever you exclude from your communion, will be excluded from communion with God…
… whomever you receive anew into your communion, God will welcome back into his.

Reconciliation with the Church is inseparable from reconciliation with God (CCC # 1445)

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