As we begin the season of Advent, which is a season of waiting for the Lord’s coming at Christmas, today we hear a call to prayer for the Lord’s coming. We begin the preparation for Christmas with a tone of prayer, leading to actions depicting people yearning for God’s presence. Let us now reflect on what the readings tell us regarding keeping a prayerful watch for the Lord’s coming.

The first reading sets the tone with the prayer of Isaiah as he longs for the Lord’s presence with his people. Isaiah’s cry reflects a longing for the nearness of God, acknowledging our dependence on Him, who made all things. It is a cry expressing how much we need God to shape us and our world to be better, especially when we see and understand our shortcomings as humans.

In the second reading, St. Paul is thankful to God that the Church in Corinth is richly blessed, having every grace they need as they await the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ. In his faithfulness, God has made the community not to lack any spiritual gift. Hence, it affirms that God provides and sustains his people through their waiting season for the Lord.

In the gospel, according to Mark, Jesus calls us to be watchful and alert, likening our anticipation to that of a servant awaiting the master’s return. The imagery of the master’s return emphasises the unpredictable nature of the time of Christ’s coming. We are urged to stay vigilant as the servants of God and doorkeepers to his kingdom by attending religiously to our Christian duties.

As we enter this Advent season, may the longing for the Lord in Isaiah’s prayer echo in our hearts. Let us recognise the divine work in our lives, moving us to be prepared well, with nothing lacking, to celebrate the Lord’s coming to us as a man. Let us keep awake and watchful in this waiting period for the Lord’s coming by constantly living out the love, righteousness, peace, and joy that characterise the Kingdom of God.

The Announcer! – 1st Sunday of Advent