First Sunday of Advent
This Sunday marks the beginning of a new liturgical year. The Readings for the First Sunday of Advent are full of hope and expectation.
In the First Reading, the prophet Isaiah states that even though we may have been spiritually disfigured by our sin and weakness, God can form us into something new and beautiful: “Yet, O Lord, you are our Father: we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hands.” In the Second Reading, St. Paul reminds us that, despite our weakness, God will strengthen us because “God is faithful”. The Gospel parable tells us that we need to “keep awake” because we do not know when the Master will return.
As we wait for the Master with great expectation, we do not remain idle. Our hope can be found in God’s fidelity and in our ability to change. Sometimes we make the mistake of believing that we can do this ourselves. We cannot change without God’s help. With great humility we must place ourselves in the potter’s hands so that we can be molded into a new creation. With faith and confidence we go to God who removes the imperfections and smooths the rough edges.
During Advent, one of the greatest ways to achieve this change is the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Every time that we celebrate this Sacrament we go to the “Divine Potter”. We examine our conscience, confess our sins and receive the grace of the sacrament which helps us to effect meaningful change in our lives.
This Advent, as we consider our own spiritual renewal, let us make the refrain for the Responsorial Psalm our own: “Restore us, O God; let your face shine, that we may be saved.”