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First Sunday of Advent

 
 
 
 
Gospel Lk 21:25-28, 34-36
Jesus said to his disciples:
"There will be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars,
and on earth nations will be in dismay,
perplexed by the roaring of the sea and the waves.
People will die of fright
in anticipation of what is coming upon the world,
for the powers of the heavens will be shaken.
And then they will see the Son of Man
coming in a cloud with power and great glory.
But when these signs begin to happen,
stand erect and raise your heads
because your redemption is at hand.

"Beware that your hearts do not become drowsy
from carousing and drunkenness
and the anxieties of daily life,
and that day catch you by surprise like a trap.
For that day will assault everyone
who lives on the face of the earth.
Be vigilant at all times
and pray that you have the strength
to escape the tribulations that are imminent
and to stand before the Son of Man."
Write your post here.
 
 
 
A THOUGHT ON “THE GOSPEL READING.”
 
The African Orthodox gathers for Advent Sunday each year to celebrate the beginning of the Church year and to fellowship with each other at the mother church and be reminded that this is a time for waiting.  We will celebrate at St. Simon the Cyrenian AOC on 12-2-2012.  Father Ron Rolheiser reminds us as we celebrate the idea that the messiah must be born of a virgin.  Why?  Is sex something unworthy of God?  If Jesus had been born in a natural way, would that somehow have given less dignity?  This is a dark underside in some spiritualties, but Jesus’ birth from a virgin has nothing to do with that.
 
Scripture and Christian tradition emphasize that Jesus was born of a virgin to underscore the fact that he had no human father and also to teach an important truth, namely, that in order for something sublime to be born there must, first, be a proper chastity, a proper time of waiting, a season of advent.
 
This is a time of waiting, a time of Chastity.  Chastity has to do with how we experience reality in general, all experience.  To be chaste is to have proper reverence – towards God, towards each other, towards nature, towards ourselves, towards reality in general, and towards sex.  In the African Orthodox Church in the priest prayers while vesting, we pray putting on the Cincture we says: Gird me, O Lord, with the cincture of purity, and quench in me the fire of concupiscence, that the virtue of continence and chastity may abide in me.  This is a time in our prayers of reverence towards God, a time of waiting.
 
Lack of chastity is irreverence, in any area of life, sex included.  And reverence is a lot about proper waiting.  We see this by looking at its opposite:  To lack chastity, to be irreverent, is to be impatient, selfish, callous, immature, undisciplined, or boorish in any way so that our actions deprive someone else of his or her full uniqueness, dignity, and preciousness.  And we do this every time we short-circuit waiting.
 
Chastity is about proper waiting and waiting is about patience in carrying tensions and frustrations we suffer as we live the unfinished symphony that constitutes our lives.  “God is never in a hurry!”  “Every tear brings the messiah closer!”  “It is with much groaning of the flesh that the life of the spirit is brought forth!”
 
We will come together this first Sunday of Advent waiting in fellowship as we move through this Advent season.  No matter what happens we will stand, and according to the Gospel reading for today “Be vigilant at all times and pray that you have strength to escape the tribulations that are imminent and to stand before the Son of Man.”
 
 
+Archbishop Metropolitan James Salisbury Jr., OSB.
 
 
PLEASE REMEMBER LEARNING IS A BLESSING.
 

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