First Sunday of Advent of Year B

Posté par diaconos le 28 novembre 2023

What does it mean to watch and pray?

First Sunday of Advent of Yea

# Advent is the period covering the weeks leading up to Christmas. Since the beginning of this liturgical season, Advent represents the period of preparation for the coming of Jesus Christ among men, i.e. his bodily birth. In churches using the Gregorian calendar, Advent begins on the fourth Sunday before Christmas and marks the beginning of the liturgical year. Advent therefore begins no earlier than 27 November and no later than 3 December and ends on 24 December.

The Orthodox Churches and the Eastern Catholic Churches observe a period of fasting and penance equivalent to Advent, but this term has only recently come into use: this liturgical period of preparation for Christmas is traditionally called the Nativity Fast. This fast lasts 40 days, while in the Latin rite it lasts four weeks and six weeks in the Ambrosian and Mozarabic rites. In the Catholic Church and most Protestant churches, the liturgical colour for this period is purple. However, some Episcopalians and Lutherans use blue and some Byzantines use red or white.


From the Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Mark

At that time, Jesus said to his disciples : « Take heed and keep awake, for you do not know when the hour will come. It is like a man going on a journey : when he leaves his house, he gives all authority to his servants, assigns to each his work and asks the doorkeeper to keep watch. Watch, therefore, for you do not know when the master of the house will come, whether it is evening or midnight, when the cock crows or in the morning; if he comes suddenly, he must not find you asleep. What I say to you here, I say to all: Watch »
(Mk 13, 33-37).

Watch and pray !

Jesus, I want to live a holy Advent, I want to make room for you, I want to give you time. Dispose of me as you wish, so that I may be fully what I am, what you ask of me, for love of you. Today, on this first Sunday of Advent, the Church begins a new liturgical year. We are on the first Sunday of the beautiful Advent season that the Church offers us. Twenty-five days from now, our Lord will be lying there, sleeping so poorly in the straw, under the contemplative gaze of his holy parents.

Let us pause for a few minutes to think about this unique night, to contemplate in silence our God who became a little child lying in a manger. Jesus warns us : « Be careful, keep watch, for you do not know when the time will come » (Mk 13, 33). Indeed, there is a decisive moment in life. When will it come ? We do not know. The Lord did not even want to reveal when the end of the world would come. Finally, all this leads us to have an attitude of expectation and awareness: « It may come suddenly and find you asleep. (Mk 13, 36).

The time of our life is a time of self-giving, to reach maturity in our capacity to love ; it is not a time for fun. It is a time of engagement, like a preparation for the « wedding » in communion with God and his saints in the hereafter. It is a preparation for the ‘wedding’ in communion with God and his saints in the hereafter. But life begins and begins again all the time. The fact is that we are faced with decisive moments: every day, every hour or every minute can perhaps turn into a decisive moment.

Much or little, but whether it be days, hours or minutes : it is there, in that concrete moment, that the Lord is waiting for us. « In our lives, in the lives of Christians, the first conversion is important, that unique moment that everyone remembers, when we clearly discover all that the Lord asks of us, but even more important, and more difficult, are the conversions that follow » (Saint José Maria).

In this liturgical season, we prepare to celebrate the great ‘Advent’: the coming of Our Lord. Christmas: may every day of our existence be a birth to the life of love! Perhaps the best way to keep watch is to make our lives a permanent Christmas. May Our Mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary, watch over us !
Jesus, thank you for inviting me to be close to you in this continuous vigil. I do not want to lose a minute to love and be joyful in what you ask me to live. I trust in you. Please make me desire only you !

Deacon Michel Houyoux


Vanderbilt : University ; Click here to read the paper → Year B – Advent – First Sunday of Advent

Got ; Click here to read the paper → What does it mean to watch and pray ?

Video Watch and pray ! ; Click here to read the video →

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