This Sunday sees the beginning of the Season of Advent – the time of waiting for the coming of Jesus at Christmas. A time of waiting shouldn’t be a dead, empty time, like waiting for a bus. Advent is the season when we prepare ourselves to welcome the Son of God.
The prophet Isaiah in today’s First Reading was writing at a time when the people of Israel were living in exile. The prophet laments that his people have forgotten their God and forgotten who they are. Their hearts are hardened. Isaiah cries out to God to come back to his people. St Paul reminds the Corinthians that God is faithful and will return as he has promised. They are waiting in hope and expectation.
Today’s Gospel finds Jesus preparing to face his own death. He warns his disciples that he will return at a time that they do not know – so they must be awake and ready, expectant and hopeful. We can prepare ourselves for Christmas by prayer and by reading the Scriptures. If we use this blessed time of waiting well, we will be ready to welcome Jesus with joy when he comes.