First Sunday of Advent

Sunday, December 3rd


Is 63: 16B-17, 19B; 33-37, 64: 2-7
Ps. 80: 2-3, 15-16, 18,19
1 Cor I: 3-9
Mk 13: 33-37


“You are not lacking in any spiritual gift as you wait for the revelation of our Lord, Jesus Christ.” Cor. I. 7

It seems most appropriate that two key words from today’s readings are WATCH and WAIT. On this first Sunday of Advent, the invitation to watch is a strong reminder to use this busy time before Christmas to look around, to open our eyes, and to be more aware of the light and darkness of winter days.

Yes, we probably cannot avoid watching ads for the Black Friday sales at Target or Amazon. We anxiously watch for the first snowfall, worrying if it will lengthen the commute to work. We watch the nightly news and wonder if the violence and division so prevalent in our country can ever be peacefully resolved.

Maybe this Advent season could be about watching for the wonders of this season as well? Can we watch for a chance to do a random act of kindness? Can we watch for the lights that appear on Christmas trees and skyscrapers and remember that light can and will overcome the darkness?

As we watch, we WAIT. We wait for that graced moment when our hearts are keenly aware of how very blessed we are with so much that we too often take for granted. We wait and pray to be more aware of how all of life is connected and needs our care and concern. We wait and hope for the fulfillment of that time when the justice and peace promised in the Advent readings will come. Today’s readings echo a watch, wait, and wonder refrain. Listen carefully.


Open my eyes to see, my ears to hear, and my heart to be more sensitive to the wonders that surround me as I watch and wait during these Advent days.

Personal Challenge

I will try to practice more patience when I am frustrated,
realizing that waiting could be a graced time.

Sister Jean McGrath, CSJ
Chicago, IL

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