Nov 28, 2010 - Sunday Meditation (Gospel of Fulfillment!) His point here is that the exact “hour” is not important. What is crucial is that we not postpone our repentance, that we be ready for Him - spiritually and morally - when He comes. For He will surely come, He tells us - like a thief in the night, like the flood in the time of Noah. The First Sunday of Advent Isaiah 2:1-5 Psalm 122:1-2, 3-4a, 4b-5, 6-7, 8-9 Romans 13:11-14 Matthew 24:37-44 As were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of man. 38 For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, 39 and they did not know until the flood came and swept them all away, so will be the coming of the Son of man. 40 Then two men will be in the field; one is taken and one is left. 41 Two women will be grinding at the mill; one is taken and one is left. 42 Watch therefore, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming. 43 But know this, that if the householder had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have watched and would not have let his house be broken into. 44 Therefore you also must be ready; for the Son of man is coming at an hour you do not expect. Meditation by Scott Hahn In a Dark Hour Jesus exaggerates in today’s Gospel when He claims not to know the day or the hour when He will come again. He occasionally makes such overstatements to drive home a point we might otherwise miss (see Matthew 5:34; 23:9; Luke 14:26). His point here is that the exact “hour” is not important. What is crucial is that we not postpone our repentance, that we be ready for Him - spiritually and morally - when He comes. For He will surely come, He tells us - like a thief in the night, like the flood in the time of Noah. In today’s Epistle, Paul too compares the present age to a time of advancing darkness and night. Though we sit in the darkness, overshadowed by death, we have seen arise the great light of our Lord who has come into our midst (see Matthew 4:16; John 1:9; 8:12). He is the true light, the life of the world. And His light continues to shine in His Church, the new Jerusalem promised by Isaiah in today’s First Reading. In the Church, all nations stream to the God of Jacob, to worship and seek wisdom in the House of David. From the Church goes forth His word of instruction, the light of the Lord - that all might walk in His paths toward that eternal day when night will be no more (see Revelation 22:5). By our Baptism we have been made children of the light and day (see Ephesians 5:8; 1 Thessalonians 5:5-7). It is time we start living like it - throwing off the fruitless works of darkness, the desires of the flesh, and walking by the light of His grace.
The hour is late as we begin a new Advent. Let us begin again in this Eucharist. As we sing in today’s Psalm, let us go rejoicing to the House of the Lord. Let us give thanks to His name, keeping watch for His coming, knowing that our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. The Gospel of ‘Fulfillment’ With the First Sunday in Advent we begin a new “cycle” (Cycle A) of the Church’s Liturgical Year. Sunday by Sunday for the next year we’ll be reading the Gospel of Matthew. Matthew’s Gospel is a prime example of what St. Augustine was talking about when he said: the New Testament is concealed in the Old and the Old Testament is revealed in the New. You can’t read Matthew without having your ear tuned to the Old Testament. He quotes or alludes to the Old Testament an average of four or five times per chapter - or more than 100 times in his Gospel. Matthew writes this way because he wants his fellow Israelites to see that their Old Covenant with God has been “fulfilled” in Jesus. Get used to words like “fulfill” and “fulfillment” - you’re going to hear them repeatedly in Matthew’s gospel. On the Fourth Sunday of Advent, for instance, Matthew explains how Mary is found with child: “All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: ‘Behold the virgin shall be with child and bear a son, and they shall call him Emmanuel” (see Matthew 1:22-23). Again, on Palm Sunday, when He is arrested in the garden, Jesus says: “All this has come to pass that the writings of the prophets may be fulfilled” (see Matthew 26:54,56). The numerous “fulfillments” Matthew tells us about are intended to signal one thing - that in Jesus, God is finally delivering on the promises He made throughout salvation history. Supplementary Reading Constant Gratitude “O give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; for His mercy and loving-kindness endure forever!” - 1 Chronicles 16:34 No matter what may be happening in the world around you, you can always find something to thank God for. Gratitude is a powerful force that opens the door to God’s blessing. Having constant gratitude proves your faith in God because not only do you thank Him for what He has done in the past, you thank Him for what He will do in the future. It’s that kind of faith that pleases God. Constant gratitude also shows humility because when we are thankful, we magnify God instead of magnifying our problems. It gives us proper perspective and opens the door for God’s grace, favor and supernatural empowerment. So what are you grateful for today? Are you grateful for the sun that shines and brings a new day? Are you thankful for the gift of eternal life? As you choose an attitude of constant gratitude, you’ll experience His mercy and loving kindness in greater ways. You’ll be filled with His peace and joy and pave the way to move forward into the a bun dant life He has prepared for you! Father in heaven, thank You for another day to praise You. Thank You for all You have done in my life. Help me to see Your hand of blessing as I continually acknowledge and praise Your name. In Jesus’ Name. Amen. - Joel & Victoria Osteen