WSC Reflection November 28, 2021

1st Sunday of Advent (Cycle C, Year II)
Community Word: Children of the Father live in joyful hope, peace and love for the coming of Jesus, our Savior.
Theme: We prepare for the coming of Jesus, our Savior, when we pray and conduct ourselves in a manner pleasing to God.
Promise: “All the paths of the Lord are kindness and constancy toward those who keep his covenant and his decrees.” (Ps 25:10)

Reflection:
Discomfort, delusion, despondency could drain any enthusiasm to overcome difficulties. Such is our experience and continue to experience with Covid-19. The pandemic has brought about illness, death, business and employment losses, and hunger to many people. Greatly affected are the poor or developing countries, like the Philippines.
We find ourselves in the same predicament as the Israelites after their long exile in Babylon. Upon their return to Jerusalem, they saw their city ravaged and plundered to the ground by the Babylonian soldiers. Like the Israelites, rebuilding our lives and our country will take so much effort and time; and this is even without assurance that Covid-19 will not inflict harm on us again. Sadness and discouragement may also overwhelm us as we pick up the pieces to rebuild our lives. Thinking aloud, many of us would question why this is happening to us. Has God abandoned us? Has God forgotten His promises He made to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and David?
However, our theme for the week cushions and allays our ongoing predicament – We prepare for the coming of Jesus, our Savior, when we pray and conduct ourselves in a manner pleasing to God. Praying and being right before God is the operative phrase in this reflection.
The 1st letter of St. Paul to the Thessalonians gives us an idea on how to conduct ourselves while waiting for Jesus’ second coming, but primarily more to give us hope – “Our Lord Jesus comes with all His holy ones,” (cf. 1 Thes 3:2). In St. Paul’s message, he admits that many are good, but he intercedes for them to the Lord that each one “may increase and enrich their love for each other” because this is “the path leading to holiness and it is the only vigilant way in awaiting the coming of the Lord,” (cf. 1 Thes 3:12-13. Reciprocal relations in our community are already good, but it is always possible to improve them by addressing existing misunderstandings and tensions amongst ourselves. We are called to be better persons today than yesterday (Lorenzo Snow).
The gospel begins with dramatic expressions that lead us to think that God is informing us about what will happen at the end of the world. In reality, God may be telling us about the stars, the moon and the sun which will collide and wreak havoc to end the world. But, it is that of man’s sin, evil, human wickedness that will bring about an unbearable condition. Hate, violence, feuding, make life impossible. But will things continue like this forever? No, says the gospel of today. When everything would seem to be in confusion, “the Son of Man will appear with great power and glory and from the reigning chaos He will draw a new world, (Lk 21:27). While we wait, our Order for the month explicitly enjoins us to: “Strengthen your hearts, to be blameless in holiness before our God and Father…” (1 Thes 3:13).
The words of Jesus sound at first like threats of impending catastrophes, but are actually a proclamation of joy. We are being encouraged to be better persons today by ridding ourselves of all hindering characteristics which distances and separates us from having a deeper relationship with our Triune God. In our preparation for this Advent season, our thoughts, words and deeds should reflect the fruit of the Holy Spirit, motivated by our love of God and neighbor and exercising the gifts of the Holy Spirit in relation to our calling. Then we can claim our promise for the week: “All the paths of the Lord are kindness and constancy toward those who keep his covenant and his decrees,” (Ps 25:10). Consequently, we become what our community word for the month tells us: Children of the Father live in joyful hope, peace and love for the coming of Jesus, our Savior.

Prayer:
Prayer: Lord, as we prepare for Your second coming, please cause us to be mindful of Your precepts, reflect and embrace them in our thoughts, words and deeds, so that we may become a better person today, thus be fully a reflection of who You want us to be. Amen.

Reflection Questions:

  1. How is my relationship with my family members, brothers and sisters in the community, or with co-workers in my workplace?
  2. Do I harbor any ill-feeling towards anyone? How do I intend to resolve personal conflicts in my relationship with others?
  3. In my service to the Church and community, am I motivated by the core values of prudence, fortitude, forbearance and humility?
    This Week’s Daily Mass Reading Guide:
    November 21, 2021 (Sun) – Jer 33:14-16/ Ps 25:4-5, 8-9, 10, 14/ 1Thes 3:12-4:2/ Lk 21:25-28, 34-36
    November 22, 2021 (Mon) – Is 2:1-5/ Ps 122/ Mt 8:5-11
    November 23, 2021 (Tue) – Rom 10:9-18/ Ps 19:8, 9, 10, 11/ Mt 4:18-22
    November 24, 2021 (Wed) – Is 25:6-10/ Ps 23:1-3, 3-4, 5, 6/ Mt 15:29-37
    November 25, 2021 (Thurs) – Is 26:1-6/ Ps 118:1, 8-9, 1 9-21, 25-27/ Mt 7:21, 24-27
    November 26, 2021 (Fri) – Is 29:17-24/ Ps 27:1, 4, 13-14/ Mt 9:27-31
    November 27, 2021 (Sat) – Is 30:19-21, 23-26/ PS 147:1-2, 3-4, 5-6/ Mt 9:35-10:1, 5, 6-8
    “Ignorance of the Bible is ignorance of Christ. Read your Bible daily!”
 
 

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