1st Sunday of Advent, A

Preparations for Christmas
Matthew 24:37-44 

The first week of Advent opens with a bang, "The mountain of the Temple of the Lord, shall tower above the mountains and be lifted higher than the hills." (Isaiah 2:1)

What is going to happen is higher than our usual preparations for Christmas.  It is even higher than our lives. I would like to dwell on the usual preparations we are doing this Christmas and transcend on them since I will dwell on what is higher than all our expectations:

1. Noche Buena - represents our capacity to place food on the table.  Christmas event is definitely higher than our need for bonuses. It will change our lives forever.  From a people, doomed for punishment, we now are geared toward salvation.  Let us celebrate for our salvation is near at hand.

2. Christmas gifts - represent our capacity to give gifts first to our family members, then to the poor.  Give love on Christmas day.  But there is one who definitely gave more of himself.  May the children be spared from equating Christmas with materialism and consumerism.  Think of the poor this Christmas.  Because the poor have a capacity to give.  Jesus was poor.  But Jesus is our gift above all other gifts.  Give Jesus as a gift to the children, not the pomp or luxury of modern Christmas gifts.  Focus on Jesus.

3. Holiday - usually, no work brings more beer on the table, Karaoke, and merry making.  But the gospel instructs us to stay awake and as early as now, to prepare our future life with the Lord when the Lord will hold us by the hand and we allow ourselves to be guided, together with that of our families; towards a renewed Church.  Don't celebrate simply because it is a holiday.  Celebrate because from now on, we shall be obedient to God.

So these three things we should consider as our very preparation for Christmas - our salvation, our lives of self-giving like Jesus, and our total obedience to God.