First reading Jeremiah 33:14-16

I will make a virtuous Branch grow for David

See, the days are coming – it is the Lord who speaks – when I am going to fulfil the promise I made to the House of Israel and the House of Judah:
‘In those days and at that time,
I will make a virtuous Branch grow for David,
who shall practise honesty and integrity in the land.
In those days Judah shall be saved
and Israel shall dwell in confidence.
And this is the name the city will be called:

Responsorial Psalm 24(25):4-5,8-9,10,14

To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul.
Lord, make me know your ways.
  Lord, teach me your paths.
Make me walk in your truth, and teach me:
  for you are God my saviour.
To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul.
The Lord is good and upright.
  He shows the path to those who stray,
He guides the humble in the right path,
  He teaches his way to the poor.
To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul.
His ways are faithfulness and love
  for those who keep his covenant and law.
The Lord’s friendship is for those who revere him;
  to them he reveals his covenant.
To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul.

Second reading 1 Thessalonians 3:12-4:2

May you be blameless when our Lord Jesus Christ comes again

May the Lord be generous in increasing your love and make you love one another and the whole human race as much as we love you. And may he so confirm your hearts in holiness that you may be blameless in the sight of our God and Father when our Lord Jesus Christ comes with all his saints.
  Finally, brothers, we urge you and appeal to you in the Lord Jesus to make more and more progress in the kind of life that you are meant to live: the life that God wants, as you learnt from us, and as you are already living it. You have not forgotten the instructions we gave you on the authority of the Lord Jesus.

Gospel Luke 21:25-28,34-36

That day will be sprung on you suddenly, like a trap

Jesus said to his disciples: ‘There will be signs in the sun and moon and stars; on earth nations in agony, bewildered by the clamour of the ocean and its waves; men dying of fear as they await what menaces the world, for the powers of heaven will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. When these things begin to take place, stand erect, hold your heads high, because your liberation is near at hand.
  ‘Watch yourselves, or your hearts will be coarsened with debauchery and drunkenness and the cares of life, and that day will be sprung on you suddenly, like a trap. For it will come down on every living man on the face of the earth. Stay awake, praying at all times for the strength to survive all that is going to happen, and to stand with confidence before the Son of Man.’

Advent: Jesus comes

Today, we celebrate the first Sunday of Advent. What is Advent all about? Advent means “coming”. There are three comings of Christ. In the  first coming, Jesus, God incarnated, was born, lived a life doing good and died in the hands of those who opposed His message. The second coming is in the future when Christ will bring creation to completion, and He will come and make all things new. There will no longer be tears, sorrow, pain and death. In between the first and final coming, Jesus comes into our hearts each day to be our rest and consolation as we walk through life. Jesus comes because He is Immanuel, God-with-us.
At this start of this Advent, Jesus calls us to slow down from our busyness and stay awake, be aware of His presence within us and among  us today. It is also a time to pray and renew our relationship of love with Jesus. May this Advent be a time to prepare our hearts for Jesus to  come into our lives more fully. Maranatha! Come, Lord Jesus today!
Question for reflection:
How do I prepare my heart for Jesus this Advent?


Acknowledgment: Reflections are based on “Prayer for Living: The Word of God for Daily Prayer Year B” by Sr. Sandra Seow FMVD.