1st Sunday of Advent (Fr. Simham)
You must have heard or read a lot about what has happened few years back in Mumbai, India. Ten evil-minded men went on rampage at the most important places of the commercial capital. Most heartless creatures ever seen. They went around shooting every one without discretion. No body was prepared for that. The guests in the hotels or the passengers in the railway station; none of them were prepared for this un-eventuality. The police was not prepared for that and the government and authorities were also not prepared. It just happened so suddenly that they were caught off-guard. I am not judging who fault it is. But I just want to read an interesting article I read few days back on internet in “The Sunday Telegraph” titled “Bombay Slaughter: what it means for Briton?” One of the former SAS chiefs reflects whether Briton is prepared for an assault like that. He opines that Briton is unprepared.
Whenever certain things like this happen we ask critical questions like this. Are we prepared. Are we vigilant for any un-eventuality?
The central theme of today’s readings is Jesus’ warning to us to be alert, watchful and prepared because Christ’s Second Coming, coinciding with the end of the world, can occur at any time. People, in general, used to have a paranoid fear about the end of the world. They expected it in A.D. 204, 999 and 2000. Jesus, in today’s Gospel, gives us the assurance that we need not be afraid of the end of the world, Christ’s Second Coming and the Last Judgment if we remain alert and prepared. The Church invites us on this first Sunday of Advent to prepare for Christ’s Second Coming, first by properly celebrating during this Christmas season the fond memory of Christ’s first coming 2000 years ago, second, by experiencing Christ’s daily advent or coming in the Eucharistic celebrations, in the Holy Bible and in the worshipping community, and third, by preparing for Jesus’ Second Coming which, for us, will happen at the moment of our deaths or at the end of the World.
As we are entering into the season of Advent, on this first Sunday of Advent, the main theme is this. “Be on your guard” or “stay awake”. Look at the number of times it is repeated again and again.(Mark 13:33-37). Often it is human tendency that we fall into slumber. We fall into a rhythm and we go on with it until something that disturbs happens and exposes how negligent we have been. Now that the disaster happened in Mumbai we can see security beefed up everywhere and all security checks done properly. But after time as the time passes we forget what had happened and we become relaxed again.
But Jesus through today’s gospel says “Never take the things for granted, be on your guard, stay awake otherwise you will be caught off-guard. Whether it is to face the disaster or to face the son of man who is going to come in all his glory we need to be vigilant. Season like Advent and events like this should make to wake up from our slumber and become more vigilant more prepared.
God bless you all!
Fr. Showreelu Simham