First Sunday of Advent (B) Violet
Is 63: 16–17, 19b; 64:2-7 • Ps 80 • 1 Cor 1:3–9
Mk 13:33–37 • Need for Watchfulness
Jesus said to his disciples: 33“Be watchful! Be alert! You do not know when the time will come. 34It is like a man traveling abroad. He leaves home and places his servants in charge, each with his work, and orders the gatekeeper to be on the watch. 35Watch, 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. 36May he not come suddenly and find you sleeping. 37What I say to you, I say to all: ‘Watch!’ ”
A Man of Preparedness
He was ambitious. He wanted to conquer the world by raising his fortune. Then one day, a holy man related to him what Jesus had told his disciples, “What profit is there for one to gain the whole world and forfeit his life?” These words made so great an impact on the ambitious man that he changed the direction of his life. He became a priest, co-founded the Society of Jesus, and later became a missionary. The holy man was Ignatius of Loyola and the ambitious man was Francis Xavier.
St. Francis Xavier, whose feast day we celebrate today, is known as the “Apostle of East Indies” because he was the first Jesuit missionary in East and Southeast Asia: India, Indonesia, China, and Japan. Modern scholars stated that he converted thirty thousand people during his missions. It was a record that no one had done since St. Paul the Apostle. With this, the Church declared him as the Patron of Catholic missions.
The ambition of St. Francis Xavier to conquer the world materialized not according to what he wanted but by God’s design. He prepared thousands of souls for God as well as his very own soul.
We have entered Advent. Whenever this season comes, we know that Christmas is near. Before you look forward to gifts and parties, think what is essential in this season. The Gospel message today is to be watchful, for the Lord will come unannounced.
We need to prepare ourselves inwardly. This is achievable by cleansing our soul through the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Throw out the rubbish in your life. Do you resent someone? Forgive. Do you have worries? Trust. These actions are easier said than done. But God will help you if you let him.
St. Francis Xavier gave up his ambitions; you can also give up to God all your ideals. You may not convert thousands like he did, but at least you can convert yourself to God. As St. Francis of Assisi said, “Sanctify yourself, and you will sanctify others.”
- In the Gospel for this Sunday, to what does Jesus compare the coming of God?
- What possible time will the Lord come?
- What is Jesus’ ultimate instruction for today?
- How will you prepare yourself this Advent season?
- What are the things you can do to help others prepare for the coming of Jesus?
- What characteristic of St. Francis Xavier do you want to imitate? Why?
- Join the recollections scheduled in your parish this Advent. Then share to your family the lessons you have learned.
- Write a reflection about the value of preparing for the coming of Jesus.
- Submit your work to your values education teacher.