Word Sharing Circle (WSC) Reflection Guide
December 2, 2018 – 1st Sunday of Advent (Cycle C, Year I)
Community Word: Disciples of Christ prepare their hearts for His coming with joy.
Theme: We prepare for Christ’s coming when we persevere in doing what is right and just.
Promise: “Good and upright is the Lord; thus he shows sinners the way.” (Ps 25:8)
We are now in the season of Advent, ushering in the new liturgical year of the Church. This is the time which gives us the opportunity to reflect and to be retrospective about our life so that we may be prepared, not only to celebrate the birthday of Jesus on Christmas day, but also to prepare for the second coming of Christ. Thus, our community word for the month of December states: Disciples of Christ prepare their hearts for His coming with joy. Jesus has come; He is the Emmanuel, God with us, and He will come again.
Christ is on His second coming! We often hear this and we connect it with the end of the world. Many people speculate when the world would end. There are dates, numbers, events, or the Mayan calendar which purportedly prophesy the end of times. But when really is the second coming of Christ? The bible does not give any date, except to say that there will be signs in the heavens (cf Lk 21:25-28). On this, Jesus says: “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father,” (Mk 13:32).
Thus, we are reminded that we must be ready at all times. What does it mean to be ready? Our theme for the 1st Sunday of Advent gives us this insight – We prepare for Christ’s coming when we persevere in doing what is right and just. Preparation is not just a periodic event, but preparation is a lifetime pre-occupation. St. Paul tells us that the objective of spiritual preparation is “to be blameless in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus,” (1 Thes 3:13). We are to conduct ourselves to please God, to increase and abound in love for one another and for all. To be ready for the coming of the Lord is to strive to love more that our hearts may be strengthened to face all tribulations. To be ready is to be vigilant at all times and to pray, because death is life a thief in the night which does not announce his presence when he is about to intrude your house.
During Advent, we should look inwardly and examine our conscience to search if we have hardened our hearts and repeatedly refused to follow God’s commandments. We need to see if we have already gone astray and wandered from God’s presence, withholding our love from others, thereby detaching ourselves from God and unintentionally nurturing self-centeredness and indifference to the needs of the poor. We have to check our spiritual temperature if our lives are high on worldliness and materialistic pursuits, in the anxieties of daily life and sinfulness. This time of recollection and awareness allows our hearts to be purified and ready for the Lord. As His promise tells us: “Good and upright is the Lord; thus He shows sinners the way,” (Ps25:8).
Our hearts need to be open to the mystery of God’s presence; a heart open to realize that there is more to life than just what we touch and feel. We want to hear Jesus as He speaks to our hearts, inviting us to know the world from His vision and His love. Advent! Christ has already come to our world and may He be in our hearts forever. May we be always ready for Him when He comes again.
Father, just as You sent John the Baptist to prepare the way for Jesus, help me also to clear the path in my heart for His coming. I am unworthy, but I am grateful for Jesus who saved me. Distractions in my life have prevented me from totally worshiping You, Lord. Please give me the strength to seek forgiveness, to remain purified and transformed in heart and mind. And as I do so, I will be prepared and joyfully awaiting for His coming. Amen.
1. How do I prepare for Christ coming this Advent season?
2. What are the distractions and struggles in my life that I have to confess to Jesus?
This Week’s Daily Mass Reading Guide:
Dec 2, 2018 (Sun) – Jer 33:14-16/Ps 25:4-5, 8-9, 10, 14/1Thes 3:12-4:2/Lk 21:25-28, 34-36
Dec 3, 2018 (Mon) – Is 2:1-5/Ps 122:1-9/Mt 8:5-11
Dec 4, 2018 (Tue) – Is 11:1-10/Ps 72:2,7,8,12,13,17/Lk 10:21-24
Dec 5, 2018 (Wed) – Is 25:6-10/Ps 23:1-6/Hb 15:29-37
Dec 6, 2018 (Thu) – Is 26:1-6/Ps 118:1,8,9,19,21,25-27/Hb 7:21,24-27
Dec 7, 2018 (Fri) – Is 29:17-24/Ps 27:1,4,13-14/Mt 9:27-31
Dec 8, 2018 (Sat) – Gn 3:9-15,20/Ps 98:1-4/Eph 1:3-6,11,12/Lk 1:26-38
“Ignorance of the Bible is ignorance of Christ. Read your Bible daily!”