Advent Is Coming

Today’s first reading sounds scary and apocalyptic, with horrendous visions of weird-looking beasts looking to devour and destroy anything in their paths.

And then we have the image of the Ancient One with hair as white as wool, who I liken to God the Father. He was attended to by throngs of attendants and sat on a throne of flaming fire.

Then when the court was convened and the books opened (final judgement), each of the beasts was slain and destroyed. This is my idea of worldly things being stripped away and humanity being laid bare before Almighty God.

Finally, Jesus, our Savior, comes forth

“One like a son of man coming on the clouds of heaven”

And “when he reached the Ancient One and was presented before him, He received dominion, glory, and kingship.”

What a beautiful image of Christ the King, whose solemnity we celebrated just last Sunday.

Thanksgiving and Advent

As we stand on the threshold of Advent, this is a beautiful time to savor the spirit of Thanksgiving which we Americans celebrated just yesterday, hopefully with loved ones around us and a feast of delightful food. Let us try to resist the pressures of society and the media as they try to convince us that we need more and more material possessions. Here in the United States, today is famously known as “Black Friday,” the kickoff of the frenzied Christmas shopping season.

However, for those of us faithful Catholics, we know that Jesus is the reason for the season, and no amount of material gifts can compensate for the true gift we all long for; that of Jesus in our hearts and the resulting love, peace, and compassion towards others.

Let us instead live our responsorial psalm “Give glory and eternal praise to him!” for therein lies our true happiness.

The Gospel of St. Luke reminds us to be aware of all the happenings around us and to “know that the Kingdom of God is near.” He exhorts us to be vigilant.

Soon and very soon, we are going to see the King. Happy Advent!

[Readings: Dn 7:2-14; Lk 21:29-33]

Arlene Braganza

Arlene Braganza is a life-long Catholic who was born and raised in Bahrain and now resides in California. She has been married for over 35 years and has one married daughter living in Los Angeles and a son living in New York. She works as an Office Manager for a busy CPA firm (31 years and counting) and tries to make it to Daily Mass even during the stressful tax season.

1 Comment

  1. Tina on November 26, 2021 at 7:05 am

    Thank you for this inspiring reflection, it meant a lot to me. For the first time ever away from family on Thanksgiving, I spent it in Germany this year at a small seminar with fellow alumni focused on Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions, #16 of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. I woke up thinking, this is White Friday! Opposite of Black Friday, new beginnings for sustainable consumption.

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