Weekly Missionary Reflection
Sunday, 27 November 2022
First Sunday of Advent
Isa. 2:1-5 atau Isa. 4:2-6; Ps. 122:1-2,3-4a,(4b-5,6-7), 8-9; Matt. 8:5-11
Dear beloved missionaries,
We begin the first Sunday of Advent. Let’s direct our sight and heart to Christmas, welcoming the birth of baby Jesus, the Emmanuel. Even though Christmas is one month away, the Christmas message has been issued by The Bishop’s Conference of Indonesia and the Indonesian Communion of Churches. The theme of the Christmas Message of 2022 is “They departed for their country by another way” (Matt. 2:12). This theme invites us to be attentive and reflects on “another way” which is “the Lord’s way”. To begin our spiritual journey towards Christmas, it’s good for us to wisely aim the reflection of the first Advent Sunday to the theme of Christmas Message based on today’s reading.
We are beginning our journey to Christmas guided by the book of Isaiah, “Come, let us go up to the Lord’s mountain, to the house of the God of Jacob, that He may instruct us in His ways, and we may walk in His paths” (Isa. 2:3). We walk every day, every time, to office, school, market, neighbors, home, to any way we want. Yet, do we aware of our path, aware of the path we are walking, aware more deeply whether it is the Lord’s path or it is the path that keeps us away from the Lord? How do we know it is the Lord’s path, not the path that keeps us away from the Lord?
The book of Isaiah guides us, “They shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks; one nation shall not raise the sword against another, nor shall they train for war again.” The Lord’s path is the act of peace, not violence. Bringing peace is the real sign that we are walking in the Lord’s path. Let’s be aware of our daily journey, wherever we walk, to the office, school, market, mall, neighbors, or home, we should walk in peace. Each of our steps is a step of peace for everybody.
The Apostle St. Paul in the second reading also invites us to walk in the Lord’s path, to welcome the approaching salvation. The Lord’s path is the path of light. Obviously, walking in the Lord’s path is to throw off the works of darkness, to conduct properly by appreciating and respecting others, live simply not in orgies, not in licentiousness, not in rivalry and jealousy. Walking in the Lord’s path means connecting our hearts to Jesus all the time, directing ourselves to Jesus, and making Jesus the guide of our lives.
Walking in the Lord’s path means staying awake and alert, guarding our hearts, our minds, our feeling, and positive emotion so that it may not be easily tarnished and provoked. That is how the Gospel reading reminds us on this first Sunday of Advent, “Stay awake and be alert!” That is our real sign as faithful people, preparedness. The concrete action is to make ourselves and our hearts worth meeting the coming Lord, whom we will celebrate at Christmas. Welcome to Advent. Let’s walk in the Lord’s path and welcome the coming of Emmanuel.
(RD. M Nur Widipranoto- National Director of Pontifical Mission Society)
DAILY DEDICATED PRAYER
Lord, our Father, I present my today prayer, thought, word, work, joy, and sorrow in unity with Your Son, Jesus Christ, who always presents Himself in the Eucharist for the salvation of the world. May the Holy Spirit animating Jesus, also be my guidance and strength today so that I am ready to be the witness of Your love.
Together with St. Mary, Mother of Jesus, and the Church, in particular, I present my prayer for our Pope and apostle prayer of Indonesian Church of this month:
For the purpose of Universal Churches: The suffering children
We pray for the suffering children, especially the homeless, orphans, and victims of war; may they be assured to have education and the opportunity to experience the warmth of a family.
For the purpose of Indonesian Churches: Remembering those who died from Covid-19
We pray for those who died from Covid-19, may God bestow His mercy upon them, and their soul rests in eternal peace.