Are We Worthy And Prepared?

Weekly Missionary Reflection
Sunday, 28 November 2021
First Sunday of Advent

Jer. 33:14-16; Ps. 25:4bc-5ab,8-9,10,14; 1Thes. 3:12 – 4:2; Luke 21:25-28,34-36

The coming of the Lord is normally described with a distinctive language-style: great phenomenon in the sky, related with the sun, moon and stars. As a result, worry, fear and uproar occur on earth. Unfortunately, we often forget that this is only a language-style. We often fail to distinguish the language-style from the content or message it conveyed. As a result, the uproar in the sky and the extreme phenomenon of nature are read and expected literally. Earthquakes, wars, tsunami, etc that happen on the earth are often seen as the sign of the end of time. Predictions about the end of time will remain repeated and believed, despite they are proven wrong many times. Could this be the sign of human’s anxiety and unreadiness?

In fact, the evangelist wants to invite us to organize our life now and here with that apocalyptic language-style. First, he wants to emphasize that: this world will end (v. 25-26). The rulers of worldly time and the universe (sun, moon and star, cf. Gen. 1:14-18) will stop. Chronos will be replaced with kairos. The time that governs the life cycle of the nature and humans will be replaced with God’s time, when He Himself governs human’s life in the new and true sky and earth. Even the power of the rulers of this world (leaders and governments, especially the tyrants and oppressors) will be ended. They are the most concerned and shocked when the Son of Man comes. He will come to renew the world and save His people, especially His followers in suffer, oppressed and unfairly treated.

Second, the most appropriate attitude to face the Lord’s coming is not escaping into pseudo happiness, such as dissipation and drunkenness (v. 34a). The message from Luke is very relevant. The consumerist and hedonic modern lifestyle is like a drug dragging human away from their neighbours and the Lord. Humans forget that the life in this world is just a preparation for a more genuine life. Carpe-diem mentality and lifestyle, ““to seize the day””, has become a scene that we meet everyday.

Third, Luke also asks his readers not to worry too much about the life in this world (cf. ““worries of this life””, v. 34b). Humans are busy with multiplying and piling up wealth and honor. In fact, the Son of Man will come at any time, breaking up those mortal dreams and imaginations. At that time, it will be proven that all those mainstays are only pseudo and temporary.

Fourth, to pray (v. 36). Prayer has always become the point that Luke emphasizes. Prayeris the important means to welcome the Lord’s coming. Prayer is a clear sign that we rely on Him, not on the power of our own and the world. Prayer is the sign that we are alert and rely on the Lord’s power. Under His power, we will not be defeated by oppression, pressure of life and sufferings. Even more, with prayer we can “stand before the Son of Man” when He comes (v. 36). Why? Because He will find us ready and worthy. Thus, with raised head we are ready to welcome the Lord who will saveus (v. 28).

(Hortensius Mandaru – Indonesia Bible Society)

DAILY DEDICATED PRAYER

Lord, our Father, I present my today prayer, thought, word, work, joy, and sorrow in the unity with Your Son, Jesus Christ, who always presents Himself in the Eucharist for the world salvation. May the Holy Spirit, as the soul of Jesus, also lead and give me the strength today so that I am ready to be the witness of Your love.

Together with St. Mary, Mother of Jesus, and the Church, I specially present my prayer to our Pope and Indonesian Church prayer apostles of this month:

For Evangelization intention:
For those sufferring from depression: May those who suffer from depression and mental exhaustion receive the support and guidance to a better life. We pray …

For Indonesian Churches intention:
Appreciation of the faith: May Catholic families be enabled to appreciate their faith in life in a better way. We pray …

Special Intention for the year of St. Joseph:
Please unite us with our brothers and sisters who have died and pray for us, as St. Joseph blessed the ministry of the Son. We pray…
Amen

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