Scripture of the Week

DAILY SCRIPTURES

Reflection on the DAILY SCRIPTURES can be found at the following links:

'Our Daily Prayer' - Jesuit Communications (Australia)
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Commentaries on the Daily Readings from SACREDSPACE (Ireland)
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Readings and Reflections on the day's Scripture (US Conference of Catholic Bishops)
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Daily Readings and Reflections (Passionist Fathers - USA)
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Commentary on the Gospel Reading (Dominican Fathers - Ireland)
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Daily Gospel Reflections from Evangelisation Brisbane
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SUNDAY SCRIPTURES

Reflect on the Sunday Scriptures with:

Fr John McKinnon's Sunday Gospel Reflections
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Fr. John Thornhill
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Majellan Media Gospel Reflections
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GOSPEL AND REFLECTION

FIRST SUNDAY OF ADVENT YEAR A

First Reading – Is 2:1-5

The Lord will gather all nations in eternal peace in the kingdom of God.

The vision of Isaiah son of Amoz, concerning Judah and Jerusalem.

In the days to come
the mountain of the Temple of the Lord
shall tower above the mountains
and be lifted higher than the hills.
All the nations will stream to it,
peoples without number will come to it; and they will say:

‘Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord,
to the Temple of the God of Jacob
that he may teach us his ways
so that we may walk in his paths;
since the Law will go out from Zion,
and the oracle of the Lord from Jerusalem.’

He will wield authority over the nations
and adjudicate between many peoples;
these will hammer their swords into ploughshares,
their spears into sickles.
Nation will not lift sword against nation,
there will be no more training for war.
O House of Jacob, come,
let us walk in the light of the Lord.

Responsorial Psalm

Ps 121:1-2. 4-5. 6-9. R. see v.1.

(R.) Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.

Second Reading – Rom 13:11-14

The time has come, our salvation is near.

You know ‘the time’ has come: you must wake up now: our salvation is even nearer than it was when we were converted. The night is almost over, it will be daylight soon – let us give up all the things we prefer to do under the cover of the dark; let us arm ourselves and appear in the light. Let us live decently as people do in the daytime: no drunken orgies, no promiscuity or licentiousness, and no wrangling or jealousy. Let your armour be the Lord Jesus Christ.

Gospel Acclamation

Ps 84:8

Alleluia, alleluia!

Lord, show us your mercy and love,

and grant us your salvation.

Alleluia!

Gospel – Mt 24:37-44

Stay awake, you must be ready.

Jesus said to his disciples: ‘As it was in Noah’s day, so will it be when the Son of Man comes. For in those days before the Flood people were eating, drinking, taking wives, taking husbands, right up to the day Noah went into the ark, and they suspected nothing till the Flood came and swept all away. It will be like this when the Son of Man comes. Then of two men in the fields one is taken, one left; of two women at the millstone grinding, one is taken, one left.

‘So stay awake, because you do not know the day when your master is coming. You may be quite sure of this that if the householder had known at what time of the night the burglar would come, he would have stayed awake and would not have allowed anyone to break through the wall of his house. Therefore, you too must stand ready because the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.’

Gospel Reflection

“Where is the Life we have lost in living?” asks the Chorus in T. S. Eliot’s The Rock. The Jesus of Matthew’s gospel is implicitly asking the same question as Eliot’s Chorus. He is making much the same observation as Henry David Thoreau, “Most [people] lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them.” We are invited to find Life in our living and to sing the songs that are in us. We are to be agents of our own future rather than unthinking participants in the destruction of our planet. Right now, the human community is challenged in unprecedented ways to restore the life we have lost by living beyond our means and by destructively exploiting the riches of the Earth.

As we begin a new liturgical year, Matthew’s Jesus invites us to contemplate the ultimate realities even as we attend to the demands of the present, a “present” where some twenty per cent of the world’s human community are homeless and where land-clearing has decimated the other-than-human life of the planet. The Matthean Jesus tells us to be “awake”, to be “ready” all the time, not because death or the end of the world are around the corner, but because we need to recognise the multiple “advents” or arrivals of the Christ, the Human One, who calls us beyond self-absorption to Life. He reminds us that we are no different from our forebears who from earliest days have gone about their daily business without being sufficiently attentive to what really matters.

In our times, we have allowed thieves to break in and plunder our planet, our common home, because thieves come in guises that we fail to recognise. They so often look just like us and do the things we do. It may be that we must first be attentive to our own ways of plundering the house that is home to all of God’s creatures.

We spend much of our time looking back. That has its place, since our history informs our present and helps us in shaping our future, though all the while we know with Auden that ‘[t]he past is foreign country: they do things differently there’. Advent invites us to look forward rather than back and to dream gospel-inspired dreams that will enable creative change in our own lives and in the life of our planet. It invites us to be awake, to be ready for any eventuality.

Dreams and visions have always been the precursors to effective and life-effecting change. We need the grace to see visions and to dream dreams that make for justice and peace and that permit us to walk more freely in the light of God’s ways. We seek the grace to “see” God’s word as did the prophet Isaiah in the first reading (Isaiah 2:1-5). We need to put our energy into creating life-generating systems that enable us to move forward in the paths of gospel compassion and love.

Sr Veronica Lawson rsm

© The scriptural quotations are taken from the Jerusalem Bible, published and copyright 1966, 1967 and 1968 by Darton Longman and Todd Ltd and Doubleday & Co Inc, and used by permission of the publishers. The English translation of the Psalm Responses, the Alleluia and Gospel Verses, and the Lenten Gospel Acclamations, and the Titles, Summaries, and Conclusion of the Readings, from the Lectionary for Mass © 1997, 1981, 1968, International Committee on English in the Liturgy, Inc. All rights reserved.