Reflection for the First Week of Advent

Editor’s Note:  This week’s Storytellers comes from Abigail Schreiner, an intern at CRL.  


Reflection: First Week of Advent
First Sunday of Advent

Lectionary: 1
Isaiah 2:1-5
Psalms 122:1-2, 3-4, 4-5, 6-7, 8-9
Romans 13:11-14
Matthew 24:37-44

“Two men will be out in the field; one will be taken, and one will be left.

Two women will be grinding at the mill; one will be taken, and one will be left.

Therefore, stay awake!

For you do not know on which day your Lord will come.”

“Come, Lord Jesus.” These are familiar words as we enter into the season of Advent. It is the time of year where we take a special focus on preparing our hearts, homes and lives for the coming of the Lord.  Many times it is easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the holiday season…gifts to buy, dinners to prepare, places to go, people to see…it is easy for us to forget the simple prayer that should be on our lips each day. “Come, Lord Jesus.”

Advent is a season of reflection and humility, where we long for the coming of our King. It is a time for us to look at where we have failed and how we can do better. According to Saint Paul, we must “throw off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light.” What are these works of darkness that have been in our lives? Have we been cold and unfriendly to family, neighbors, or coworkers? Have we felt envy and jealousy at the success of those around us? Have we been anxious and untrusting of God’s plan for ourselves and our families? Have we acted with anger and frustration to people who disagree with us or annoy us? Have we made little or no time for prayer or for thanking the Lord for the blessings that He gives us? As we being this Advent season, let us humbly acknowledge our shortcomings and recommit ourselves to putting on the armor of Christ, the armor of light.

As I attended a Catholic school growing up, I remember each Advent we would light the Advent wreath and sing a verse of the Advent Candle song.  As I would watch the candle flicker while singing the song, I always felt a deep feeling of longing and excitement. At the time, I thought the longing was for the arrival of Christmas and the presents that would be under the tree, but reflecting back on it now, I realize that the deep sense of longing was and is so much more than longing for a present. It is a longing to receive the Lord when He comes. Jesus tells us in the Gospel that we must stay awake. We must not let a day pass us by that we do not do something to prepare ourselves and our hearts for His coming.  Just as we clean our house and prepare food to welcome a guest, let us also prepare our hearts to receive the Lord.

Prayer: “Come, Lord Jesus.  Help us make room in our hearts for You this Advent season, and help us to humbly accept our shortcomings and the times we have failed to love You. Let us long to receive you into our humble homes each and every day. We await your coming. Come O Lord.”

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