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1st Sunday of Advent 2014
Cycle B

First Reading
Isaiah 63:16b-17, 19b; 64:2-7

You, Lord, are our father, our redeemer you are named forever. 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. Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down, with the mountains quaking before you, 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.

Second 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.

Gospel Cycle B
Mark 13:33-37

Jesus said to his disciples: "Be watchful! Be alert! You do not know when the time will come. 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. Watch, 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. May he not come suddenly and find you sleeping. What I say to you, I say to all: "Watch!"

My sisters and brothers in Christ,

Come, Lord Jesus! This is the cry of the Church throughout all of Advent. This cry must come from the depths of our hearts. Our hearts must be formed by the words that God has given us through His holy Scriptures. Little by little our hearts become aware of the Lord and seek the Lord. Where else can we seek Him except in the living Word that He has given us in Jesus Christ? Where else except in the words give to us in the Scriptures?

The Prophet Isaiah speaks to us on this First Sunday of Advent: Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down! And then he adds: O Lord, you are our father; we are the clay and you the potter: we are all the work of your hands. We could spend all of Advent with these words in our hearts. Come, O Lord. We are the clay and you are the potter. Form us in your image because by ourselves we can do nothing. Without You, we are nothing.

The First Letter to the Corinthians then tells us: God is faithful, and by him you were called to fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. It is this faithfulness of the Lord that truly allows us to be and to grow and to seek the Lord. We try so many other things, we look for so many other things, we seek so much that is not God--and yet in the midst of it all, our hearts are seeking that which is the meaning of our life: the One who always loves us and calls us to Himself.

The Gospel of Mark today is so short! The message is so clear! Be watchful. Be alert! Our whole being needs to respond to the Lord. He is coming to us and we miss Him so very often because we do not expect Him to come in the ways in which He reveals Himself. It is always the same. Jesus comes in every age in the poor, the outcast, the lowly, the despised--all those that we reject. Stay awake! Be alert!

Why are we not alert? Because we get distracted by so many things: by our pleasures, by our desires, by our angers, by our laziness, by our jealousies. And we are just humans! How can He expect us to be alert and to keep watch. There is only one possible solution: let us love Him more and more. Then we will want Him more and more. Then we will wait for Him more and more. Come, Lord Jesus.