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First Sunday of Advent
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Yesterday is but a memory and tomorrow is only a vision. However, each day well lived makes every yesterday a memory of happiness and each tomorrow a vision of hope. Look well, therefore, to this day.

As we move through Advent, we draw near to our Lord, the Giver of Life. Often, this requires letting silence and stillness into our day, amplifying the intensity with which our hearts beat for Him. Perhaps this includes shedding some repeated behavior that has kept us from being intimate with God and others. The more stuff we add to our lives, the more we must take time to free ourselves from attachments to anything but God. As we will proclaim in this week’s Responsorial Psalm, “Lord, make us turn to you; let us see your face and we shall be saved.”

While we embrace the stillness, darkness, and silence of Advent, we are to remain hopeful. As a result, we see an overlap between the initial phases of the liturgical calendar and the Twelve Steps of addiction recovery. Both ask us to identify with our own inherent powerlessness and need for a savior. Upon this realization, we are filled with hope that Christ can bring the change we desperately desire or keep us moving on the path of spiritual progress.

This Sunday’s first reading describes the hope of Christ and the reliance we have on the Lord, even in the midst of our own human limitations. Hear the words of the prophet Isaiah as they both declare God’s Lordship and the hope of His return:

“You, Lord, are our father, our redeemer you are named forever. Why do you let us wander, O Lord, from your ways, and harden our hearts so that we fear you not? Return for the sake of your servants, the tribes of your heritage. Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down, with the mountains quaking before you, while you wrought awesome deeds we could not hope for, such as they had not heard of from of old. No ear has ever heard, no eye ever seen, any God but you doing such deeds for those who wait for him” (Isaiah 63:16B-17, 19B; 64:3).

It has been said that, in recovery, what we go looking for, we go looking with. Let the Lord guide you on this journey, and allow you to share what you find with those in your midst.


Reflection Questions

  • How are you spiritually, emotionally, and mentally preparing for the holiday season and all that it brings?
  • What helps you stay living in today while making plans for tomorrow?
  • What are you grateful for?


Sunday Mass Readings

First Reading: Isaiah 63:16B-17, 19B; 64:2-7
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 80:2-3, 15-16, 18-19
Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 1:3-9
Gospel: Mark 13:33-37

Reflection by Scott W.

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