Today, the Church begins the Season of Advent, the time of waiting for the coming of Jesus at Christmas. It’s a time of hope and expectation. The child Jesus will come as a Saviour, bringing joy to the whole world. But in today’s Gospel, Jesus warns his disciples of a time of trial to come, with natural disasters and great disturbances. He tells them to stand firm.
As we look around our world, today may seem a time of trial, with Covid and climate change, wars and famines in different parts of the world. Many people feel fearful and anxious; some look for scapegoats, while others suspect dark conspiracies. As Christians, however, we are called to be people of hope and not of fear. Whatever difficulties and challenges we may be facing, we believe that our future is in God’s hands, and so we have no reason to be fearful. Jesus teaches his disciples to stay awake, to pray at all times, and to avoid getting too caught up in the ‘cares of life.’ This world will pass away, but the teaching of Jesus will not pass away. Our faith and our hope is in him.