Advent is a season of hope, anticipation, and preparation for the coming of Christ. It is a time to recall our faith history, to renew our longing for the Savior, and to rejoice in His presence among us. Advent is also a time to reflect on how we can live out our Christian calling in a broken world that needs God’s light and love.
In this blog , I will share some Advent reflections based on the scripture readings for each Sunday of Advent. I hope these reflections will inspire you to deepen your relationship with Christ and to share His hope with others.
First Sunday of Advent: Hope in God’s Promise
The first reading for this Sunday is from the prophet Isaiah, who speaks of a vision of peace and harmony among all nations, when they will “beat their swords into plowshares” and “nation shall not lift up sword against nation” (Isaiah 2:4). This vision is a promise of God’s future reign, when He will establish justice and righteousness on earth. The psalmist echoes this hope, asking God to “let your face shine, that we may be saved” (Psalm 80:3). The gospel reading from Matthew warns us to “stay awake” and “be prepared” for the coming of the Son of Man, who will judge the living and the dead (Matthew 24:42-44).
How can we live in hope of God’s promise in this Advent season? We can start by acknowledging the brokenness of our world, where there is still violence, injustice, and suffering. We can also confess our own sins and shortcomings, and ask God for forgiveness and healing. We can then pray for God’s kingdom to come, and for His will to be done on earth as it is in heaven. We can also look for signs of God’s presence and action in our lives and in the world, and thank Him for His grace and mercy. Finally, we can prepare our hearts for the coming of Christ, by reading His word, listening to His voice, and following His commands.
Second Sunday of Advent: Peace in God’s Presence
The second reading for this Sunday is from the letter of Paul to the Romans, who greets them with “grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 1:7). He also prays that they may be “filled with all joy and peace in believing” (Romans 15:13). The gospel reading from Matthew introduces John the Baptist, who proclaims “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matthew 3:2). He also prepares the way for Jesus, who will baptize with “the Holy Spirit and fire” (Matthew 3:11).
How can we experience peace in God’s presence in this Advent season? We can first repent of our sins and turn away from anything that separates us from God. We can then receive His forgiveness and grace through faith in Jesus Christ, who died for our sins and rose again. We can also invite the Holy Spirit to fill us with His power and gifts, to help us live as children of God. We can also seek God’s presence in prayer, worship, and fellowship with other believers. We can also share God’s peace with others, by being peacemakers, reconcilers, and healers in a divided world.
Third Sunday of Advent: Joy in God’s Salvation
The first reading for this Sunday is from the prophet Isaiah, who rejoices in God’s salvation: “I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my whole being shall exult in my God; for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation” (Isaiah 61:10). The psalmist also sings of joy: “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior” (Psalm 146:1). The gospel reading from Matthew shows us how John the Baptist sends his disciples to ask Jesus if he is “the one who is to come” (Matthew 11:3). Jesus answers by pointing to his deeds: “the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor have good news brought to them” (Matthew 11:5).
How can we rejoice in God’s salvation in this Advent season? We can first recognize that we are saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ, who is the fulfilment of God’s promises. We can then thank God for His love and mercy that He has shown us in Christ. We can also celebrate His mighty works in our lives and in the world, by giving Him praise and glory. We can also share His good news with others, by proclaiming His name and testifying to His power.
Finally, Fourth Sunday of Advent focuses on the theme of love:
As we draw closer to the celebration of Christmas. The readings for this Sunday reveal God’s love for us and invite us to respond with love to him and to our neighbour’s. The first reading from 2 Samuel 7:1-5, 8b-12, 14a, 16 tells us how God made a covenant with David, promising to establish his kingdom forever and to raise up a descendant who would rule over his people. This promise was fulfilled in Jesus Christ, who is the Son of David and the Son of God. The responsorial psalm from Psalm 89:2-5, 27, 29 praises God for his faithfulness and his love that endures forever. The second reading from Romans 16:25-27 proclaims the mystery of God’s plan that was revealed in Christ Jesus, through whom we receive grace and glory. The gospel reading from Luke 1:26-38 narrates the annunciation of the angel Gabriel to Mary, who was chosen by God to be the mother of his Son. Mary accepted God’s will with faith and obedience, saying “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.”
How can we love in this Advent season? We can love by trusting in God’s promises and his plan for us and for our world. We can love by being faithful to his covenant and his commandments. We can love by imitating Mary’s fiat or “yes” to God’s will in our lives. We can love by welcoming Jesus into our hearts and into our homes. We can love by showing compassion and kindness to our brothers and sisters, especially those who are poor or marginalized.
As we prepare for Christmas, let us remember that Advent is not just a countdown or a shopping spree. It is a sacred time to reflect on the meaning of Christ’s coming and to renew our commitment to follow him as his disciples. Let us pray that this Advent season may fill us with hope, joy, peace, and love.
I hope these Advent reflections for Christians will inspire you to make the most of this season and to draw closer to God and others. May God bless you with his grace and peace as you wait, prepare, anticipate, and celebrate the coming of Christ. Amen.