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Sunday, December 1, 2013

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First Sunday of Advent

Isaiah 2:1-5
Romans 13:11-14
Psalm 122:1-9
Matthew 24:37-44

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it's time

"You know the time in which we are living." —Romans 13:11

Do you know what time it is? It's the first day of the Church year, the beginning of Advent, a time to prepare for Christ's coming. "It is now the hour for you to wake from sleep, for our salvation is closer than when we first accepted the faith. The night is far spent; the day draws near" (Rm 13:11-12). "Stay awake, therefore! You cannot know the day your Lord is coming" (Mt 24:42).

When Jesus came the first time almost everyone missed Him. They were expecting a Messiah, but not one like Him. The same thing will occur when Jesus comes the last time. "The coming of the Son of Man will repeat what happened in Noah's time. In the days before the flood people were eating and drinking, marrying and being married, right up to the day Noah entered the ark. They were totally unconcerned until the flood came and destroyed them. So will it be at the coming of the Son of Man" (Mt 24:37-39).

Jesus is coming to us this Christmas — not in His physical body but nonetheless in a very real way. If we are awake and open to His coming this Christmas, we will have reason to believe we will be prepared for His final coming. "You must be prepared in the same way. The Son of Man is coming at the time you least expect" (Mt 24:44).

It's time to wake up and open up to Jesus. It's time to meet the Savior before we meet the Judge. It's time to "put on the Lord Jesus Christ and make no provision for the desires of the flesh" (Rm 13:14). It's time.

Prayer:  Lord, as we begin a new Church year, begin something new in my relationship with You. I give my life to You.

Promise:  "In days to come, the mountain of the Lord's house shall be established as the highest mountain and raised above the hills." —Is 2:2

Praise:  Praise You, risen Jesus. You gave Your all so that You could be our All. "I will extol You, O Lord, for You drew me clear and did not let my enemies rejoice over me" (Ps 30:2).

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, June 17, 2013

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