Father Côme Traoré – Notre-Dame Basilica, Geneva
The universal Church begins, on this Sunday, the season of Advent; in other words, the time of preparation for the coming in glory of Jesus the Lord of history and time; he who returns to establish the reign of justice and peace which he never ceased to announce by his life, his teachings, his works, his death and his resurrection. Yes dear friends, “Jesus the Christ will return in glory to judge the living and the dead”.
Call to leave the routine
The text of the Gospel which has just been proclaimed, and which is certainly not one of those which we choose deliberately in order to find moral comfort in it, nevertheless invites us to abandon the routine, the regular and monotonous habitual occupations, habits, customs, which lead us away from the path of God; he invites us to convert and set out again on the path of after Christi. While welcoming the good and joyful news of the Gospel which announces the restraining coming of the Son of Man, we are invited never to forget the eventuality of the Judgment. Isn’t that the recurring fault of the disciples of Jesus! This is also why this page of the Gospel ends with an urgent call for vigilance!
Indeed, it is Jesus himself who warns his own disciples on how to prepare for his coming even if at first glance he seems to declare the uncertainty that covers such a day: “But this day and this hour, no one knows them, neither the angels of heaven, nor the Son, no one except the Father, and he alone,” he said to his disciples. So, we feel like asking him: “How do you want us to prepare for the day of your coming if you let us hover in the most complete ignorance? And it is then that Jesus begins to lift the veil of ignorance by establishing a parallel between an event well known to his contemporaries (the flood experienced by Noah and his generation) and the coming of the Son of God. ‘man. So what happened in the days before the flood? Well, men spent their lives eating, drinking, getting married, having children, working, partying… In all truth, this lifestyle is not bad in itself; on the other hand, it becomes dangerous for man when his whole existence is transformed solely into a frantic and unhealthy search for the satisfaction of his material needs.
Vigilance and perseverance
Such uncontrolled desire, we know, often leads to injustice, immorality and violence. In fact, the contemporaries of Noah were surprised by the deluge which engulfed them.
What is reproached to the generation of Noah and which can also be reproached to the men and women of our time? Well their fault is:
In a lack of awareness, discernment, prudence, expectation and vigilance; in other words it is indifference, distraction and the refusal to put oneself in a posture of discovery of God’s plan for men. And this posture of the disciple is none other than that of the sentinel, that of knowing how to “watch”: “Watch therefore, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming”, says Jesus. Evangelical vigilance requires great perseverance in prayer and charity; an inner struggle against all forms of conformism that lead us away from God and his commandments; it in no way imposes deprivations on us that would prevent us from living a dignified life as fulfilled men and women, but it imposes on us a lifestyle worthy of our baptismal commitments, worthy of our being disciples of Christ and daughters and sons of God .
Yes dear friends, Jesus is the one who must come (It is ho erchomenos) and his day is Jom Adonai (” the day of the Lord “). In each Advent we celebrate liturgically but really and in advance this ultimate and definitive manifestation of the Lord by praying: Maranatha, “the Lord is coming”! Yes, the Lord is coming; since he is “Emmanuel”, “God-with-us”, today and for centuries to come. Amen!
1st Sunday of Advent
Isaiah 2, 1-5; Psalm 121; Romans 13, 11-14a; Matthew 24, 37-44
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Homily of November 27, 2022, Advent 1 – (Mt 24, 37-44) – Swiss Catholic Portal
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