Father Peter Clarke

From the Diocese of Bridgetown

Reflection On The Gospel Of St. Mark 13:30-37 On The First Sunday Of Advent By Fr. Peter Clarke, OP

Reflection On The Gospel Of St. Mark 13:30-37 On The First Sunday Of Advent By Fr. Peter Clarke, OP

Greetings Brothers and Sisters. I'm Fr. Peter Clarke, once more filling in for my Brother Isidore who is not well enough to produce his usual Sunday reflection. Please keep him in your prayers.

Today we turn to the 1st Sunday of Advent and the Gospel of St. Mark 13. 30-37. In this Gospel we have Jesus using a parable to sound the alert. It's about a householder going away for a time and leaving his affairs in the care of his servants.The doorkeeper is told to stay awake.'. Through the parable Jesus is warning His disciples that He'll be away from them for a time. If, when returns unexpectedly, He finds them to have neglected His affairs; if they're asleep when He comes back to them, they'll be in real trouble! What is more, they'll be losing for themselves the joy of having their master back home with them!

Today the Church begins a short season of preparation forthe celebration of the greatest event into the whole of human history – the coming (Advent) of the Son of God into our world as the Son of Mary – the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem. Christians confidently assert 'Jesus in the reason for the season!'He came that we might have life and have it to the full – a share in God's own life. He came for our sakes and for our salvation. He came to show us how to learn from His teaching and from His example the way to lead godly lives. By our celebrating each year at Christmas the birth of Jesus we celebrate the reality that Jesus continues in every generation what He achieved in a life-time ofjust over thirty years. Jesus now glorious in Heaven continues to straighten and heal whatever twisted moral, spiritual sickness we have brought upon ourselves, and what has been inflicted upon the world in which we live.

Today's parable is telling us we must be awake to this tremendous reality of Jesus here and now in our lives. We simply can't afford to overlook it nor can we afford to be unfit to receive Jesus when He comes. During Advent the Church is calling us to explore how significant to us is Jesus. Out of honesty with Jesus and with ourown selves we would do well to see the value and beauty ofreceiving from Him His Sacrament of Reconciliation – the forgiveness of our sins.

The celebration of Christmas is not only about making a huge thing of commemorating a uniquely significant event that occurred long, long ago…..the birth of the greatest of our heroes – the birth in Bethlehem of Jesus, the Son of Mary, the Son of God. Christmas for us must be the celebration of the birthof Jesus,who, being both human and divine, is and will always be gloriously alive.What is more it is our celebrating this sameperson, Jesus, fulfilling His promise to His followers, "I am will you always; yes, to the end of time," (Mtt.28. 20).

To crown it, all Christmas is mean to be our capturing the excited enthusiasm of St. Paul, "I am alive; yet it is no longer I, but Christ living in me. The life that I am now living, subject to the limitation of human nature, I am living in faith, faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave himself for me,"(Gal. 2.20).

The Gospel for this 1st Sunday in Advent is urging us to wake up and to keep awake to the sheer wonder of the Son of God being born into our world; His even now His longing to come into our lives and intimately bring His divine life into our personal lives.. This Gospel is warning us not to be such fools as to take this lightly or even ignore this.

Isidore and I wish you a blessed, well- focused Advent leading to a Christ-filled Christmas.

Fr. Peter Clarke, OP

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