Sunday, November 30, 2014

First Sunday of Advent - Sunday, November 30, 2014 with Reflection

1ST READING - Isaiah 63:16-17, 19; 64:2-7
16 You, Lord, are our father, our redeemer you are named forever.17 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. 19 Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down, with the mountains quaking before you, 64: 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. Would that you might meet us doing right, that we were mindful of you in our ways! Behold, you are angry, and we are sinful; all of us have become like unclean people, all our good deeds are like polluted rags; we have all withered like leaves, and our guilt carries us away like the wind. There is none who calls upon your name, who rouses himself to cling to you; for you have hidden your face from us and have delivered us up to our guilt. Yet, O Lord, you are our father; we are the clay and you the potter: we are all the work of your hands.
P S A L M - Psalm 80:2-3, 15-16, 18-19
R: Lord, make us turn to you; let us see your face and we shall be saved.
O shepherd of Israel, hearken, from your throne upon the cherubim, shine forth. Rouse your power, and come to save us. (R) 15 Once again, O Lord of hosts, look down from heaven, and see; take care of this vine, 16 and protect what your right hand has planted, the son of man whom you yourself made strong. (R) 18 May your help be with the man of your right hand, with the son of man whom you yourself made strong. 19 Then we will no more withdraw from you; give us new life, and we will call upon your name. (R)
2ND READING - 1 Corinthians 1:3-9
Brothers and sisters: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. I give thanks to my God always on your account for the grace of God bestowed on you in Christ Jesus, that in him you were enriched in every way, with all discourse and all knowledge, as the testimony to Christ was confirmed among you, so that you are not lacking in any spiritual gift as you wait for the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ. He will keep you firm to the end, irreproachable on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful, and by him you were called to fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
Show us, Lord, your love: and grant us your salvation.
Mark 13:33-37
33 Jesus said to his disciples: Be watchful! Be alert! You do not know when the time will come. 34 It is like a man traveling abroad. He leaves home and places his servants in charge, each with his own work, and orders the gatekeeper to be on the watch. 35Watch, therefore; you do not know when the Lord of the house is coming, whether in the evening, or at midnight, or at cockcrow, or in the morning. 36 May he not come suddenly and find you sleeping. 37 What I say to you, I say to all: ‘Watch!’


I’ve joined some guided tours in various countries. Part of such tours is always a visit to some factory where they produce handcrafted goods. But there were times I enjoyed such a visit somewhere in France, and another one closer to home in Quezon Province, where they do potteries and ceramics.

    I liked their finished products. But I liked more the process that produced everything on display that were all temptingly beautiful. But in this age of limited baggages at airlines all over the world, one’s decision making has become less difficult. Just don’t add more weight. Period.

       This past week, everything we reflected on seemed to gradually build up to today, the first Sunday of Advent. We talked about endings as much as beginnings — the end times, the final judgment, the Second Coming. Yesterday, we even talked about night being no more, fading into the background, where the light of Christ’s coming comes to the fore.

       Watching the potters’ expert hands mold the once-ugly and dirty clay into something beautiful comes to mind as we begin Advent in earnest. We are worse off than clay, according to Isaiah. We are “sinful; all of us have become like unclean people; all our good deeds are like polluted rags.”

       But the Divine Potter chose to lift us up from the muck, selected us from the mire, on no merit of our own, to make of us something beautiful for Him and for others. But unlike sculpture, where the artist takes away by chipping slowly until the desired shape is achieved, we are not chipped off. We are molded and shaped and enriched until we become what the potter envisioned. How about thanking God today, “for the grace God bestowed on [us] in Christ Jesus, that in him [we] were enriched in every way … so that [we] are not lacking in any spiritual gift?”

       Time now to stop being mere clay. Time now to be molded by the Potter. Fr. Chito Dimaranan, SDB
REFLECTION QUESTION: Do you allow yourself to be molded and shaped by God through your sufferings and trials, as well as through your joys and victories?
Thank You, Lord, that You do not throw me away when I displease You. Thank You for patiently shaping me and molding me according to Your design for my life.

St. Andrew, Apostle, pray for us.

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