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12/3/17 First Sunday of Advent - Fr. Damian

What do you do when someone you love very dearly and miss very much has been gone a very long time but promises to return soon?

Do you ignore their absence, or do you anticipate their return and send them messages to let them know how much you long to be with them again?


Jesus' parable about the long-expected return of the Master to his household brings this point home.

Wealthy landowners often left their estates in the hands of their trustworthy servants and stewards. This gave them freedom to travel, trade, and expand their business ventures.

They expected loyalty and hard work from their servants and rewarded them accordingly.

Dutiful servants would eagerly anticipate their master's return by keeping the house and estate in good order. Jesus doesn't tell us in his parable whether the servants were ready to receive the unexpected return of their master. Were these servants excited or anxious about their master's return?

The watchful servants, no doubt, looked forward to the future because they knew their master would be pleased and would reward them for their vigilance and hard work. Disaster and reprisal, however, awaited those who were unprepared because of carelessness or laziness.

When we expect some very important event to happen, we often wait for it with excited anticipation. The Lord Jesus expects us to watch in great anticipation for the most important event of all - his return in glory at the end of this present age!


The Advent season is about prayer and waiting and preparing for the coming of Christ. It is about living in hope and peace, turning to God, getting ready, living in expectation and keeping watch.


The key word for Advent is "Watch!" Jesus compares his going away to a man on a long journey, leaving his servants to watch over his affairs and household during his absence.

Jesus has ascended to glory in heaven; he has left his followers to watch over his house and to be ready for his return. We must not be found sleeping when he comes; we have to be always ready for his return.


 Jesus tells us that no one knows the day or the hour of his return: the precise time is left in God's hands. We know the Lord will come back; we do not know when. We live with this uncertainty, in the shadow of eternity. There is no reason for fearful or hysterical expectation.


It means that every day and every hour we should live well, always ready for the Lord's return.


 Advent is the season in the Church liturgical year when we consider how well we are actively ready for the return of the Lord. Advent is time to consider key questions: How seriously have I taken my belief that Jesus died and rose from the dead for me? How active have I been a member of Christ's Church, his mystical Body? How have I lived the life God has given me? How is my relationship with the living God?


There is not one person who can say these questions are irrelevant. One day Jesus will return and he will know what kind of a person I have been. Those who trust in him and have faith in him will be welcomed into eternal life because his death and resurrection have saved us.

We do spend a lot of time waiting: in traffic, for meetings and other appointments, for other people. Yet there is nothing more important to wait for than the return of the Lord. What we do while waiting for the Lord is important for our life in eternity.


Advent assures us that Jesus is coming: Come, Lord Jesus!


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