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Lifelong Catechesis

Forming Catholic identity across generations
December 17, 2017
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Advent

The twofold character of Advent calls us to prepare for the remembering of the Word made Flesh at Christmas, and directs us to wait with alertness for Jesus’ second coming.

Sunday Readings and Backgrounds

First Sunday of Advent

Reading I : Isaiah 63:16b-17, 19b; 64:2-7

We have not seen any God like you!

  • The first reading was written after the Israelites returned from exile and resettled in Judah.
  • The people were discouraged by widespread poverty, dissension among their leaders, and the overwhelming task of rebuilding the ruins.
  • The prophet challenges the Israelites to persevere at their task.

Reading II : 1 Corinthians 1:3-9

He will strengthen you to the end.

  • Paul’s letter is addressed to the Corinthians, a people who have embraced Christianity with ardor.
  • They compete with one another for the most evident signs of the spirit.
  • Paul reminds the people that the most essential gift for their salvation is perseverance in faith.

Gospel : Mark 13:33-37

Be constantly on guard!

  • The author of Mark’s Gospel wrote for a community greatly concerned with events of the end of time.
  • Today’s passage repeats two ideas.  First, no one but God knows the time of the end.  Second, the proper response of the faithful disciple is to watch and be ready at all times.
  • Only those who persevere in watching will be saved.