Advent – season of spiritual growth
November 24, 2021
Christ is alive in our youth
November 24, 2021

1st Sunday of Advent (C)

Come Lord, LUKE 21:25-28, 34-36

By Dr René Jerome Wihby

This Sunday is the first Sunday of Advent in the lectionary Cycle C. It is a season that renews the experiences of preparation, waiting, and longing for the Messiah.

Advent allows us to invite Jesus into our lives as we prepare to celebrate the memorial of His birth at Christmas. Also, it revitalises our desire for His triumphant return.

The word ‘Advent’ comes from the Latin word ‘adventus’ which means ‘coming’. Today, all three readings focus on a different coming of Jesus and they invite us to embrace the virtues of hope, faith, and love which are components of the Advent season.

The initial coming of Jesus is addressed in the first reading by the prophet Jeremiah. Jeremiah warned the people of Judah of God’s judgement. Eventually, Jeremiah’s prophecy came to pass with the destruction of Jerusalem. The people, as a result, were held captive and their future became uncertain.

We too can relate to this uncertainty as many of our grand plans have now been shelved because of this pandemic. Jeremiah, however, never lost hope amid the trials because he knew that God is faithful and keeps His promises. “I will make a virtuous Branch grow for David” (Jer 33:15). The virtuous branch is the promised king, Jesus, who was prophesied centuries before His birth in Bethlehem.

Do you believe that God is faithful, and that He will keep His promises? Since the Covid-19 pandemic started, our days and nights have been challenging even to pray. Like Jeremiah, we need to put our trust in “the God of hope” and believe that things will get better (Rom 15:3).

The gospel reading resembles the scene from Mark’s Gospel which we met two weeks ago on the Second Coming of Jesus. There are subtle differences between the two gospels.

Today’s gospel reminds us to stay awake and be watchful. God wants us to keep our eyes fixed on Him so that we do not fall spiritually asleep and lose our faith. We are called to remain steadfast in prayer as we grow in faith. God will convert our fear into a joyful hope as we unite our prayers in faith for the return of our Lord. Maranatha, Come Lord, come quickly.

Finally, the second reading focuses on another coming that links Jesus’ first and second comings; the coming of Jesus in the present.

Every day, we are called to grow in holiness. We can increase our holiness by loving each other the way God loves us and in turn “…[H]is love will be complete in us” (1 Jn 4:12).

For example, Jesus cared deeply for the poor and downtrodden (Mt 25:40). Jesus demonstrated His love through acts of kindness, compassion, and justice. The saints of the Church emulated Jesus’ example as they had a special love for the poor.

When Jesus returns at the end of time, He will ask us if we took time to love. Did we feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, clothe the naked and visit the sick and prisoners? Remember that whatsoever we do to the least of our brothers, that we do unto Him (Mt 25:35–40).

During this pandemic, we need to allow God’s love to be “complete in us” as He transforms us to recognise Him in our neighbour. “As it is, these remain: faith, hope and love, the three of them; and the greatest of them is love.”



Lord, forgive us for the times when we ignored people who are in need of our help. Increase Your love within so that we can recognise You in everybody that we meet. Amen.


The Gospel Meditations for November were by Dr René Jerome Wihby, a Dean at Presentation College, Chaguanas. He is a parishioner of St Paul’s Parish, Couva.