Catholic Contemplative Affiliation

Sunday Readings



 


 

 

 

 
 
 

 

 
 
 
First Sunday of Advent, Cycle B

November 29, 2020

 
Readings: Isaiah 63.16-17,19; 64.2-7; 1st Corinthians 1.3-9;  Mark 13.33-37
 
Summary of Meditation:
  • A major aspect of contemplative life is staying awake to watch for the Lord’s appearing which is the theme of Advent. There’s not much ecstasy in the contemplative life.  “Day in, day out”—the tasks of our service call to us.  Jesus said to his disciples: Be constantly on the watch!
     
  • Jesus is not only our judge, he is our rock and our support; Jesus gives us of the Holy Spirit so we are richly endowed (Second Reading).   We await the Lord and we rejoice that the Lord is already with us.
 
  • Advent deals with the longing with hope for a new beginning.  The infused virtue of hope redirects our gaze from memories to the power of becoming, to the Morning Star breaking upon us who sit in darkness and the shadow of death.   O that you would render the heavens and come down with the mountains quaking before you (First Reading).
 
  • In silence of prayer often come the memories of our sins, of the darkness we clung to which are the memories of the years wasted; memories of the desert of wanderings far from God’s loving presence.  Why do you let us wander, O Lord, from your ways. …For you have hidden your face from us and have delivered us up to our guilt (First Reading).
     
  • The Liturgy moves us into the new beginnings of the Mystery of Christ lived within His Church.  Advent concentrates on the struggle for Light over the darkness.  Christ Jesus is our Light.  Our prayer is the opening into that Light.  Let us be faithful to the daily sessions of our silent prayer of the heart.  Let it be our task of love.  BE CONSTANTLY ON THE WATCH!  STAY AWAKE…(The Gospel Reading).
     
     
 
Full Meditation:
 
The Contemplative Practice: Be There, Attentive
 
A major aspect of contemplative life is staying awake, being on watch.  There’s not much ecstasy in the contemplative life.  “Day in, day out”—the tasks of our service call to us.  We respond in love, many times without emotional feedback; many times without any feedback at all.  Then comes the surprise in the middle of it.  God’s light invades our darkness; just enough light to keep us faithful in the waiting, in the service.
 
Advent is all about the night, and longing for the light in the dwindling shadows of a hazy light.  Advent is the coming of the Light which the darkness cannot put out.  Although we are children of the Light because we are adopted into the Triune God life, we must many times be as servants who wait upon the master’s return.  We wait upon the advent of our master.
 
The Gospel Reading orients us to our Advent vocation. 
 
Jesus said to his disciples: Be constantly on the watch! … It is like a man travelling abroad.  He leaves home and places his servants in charge, each with his own task; and he orders the man at the gate to watch with a sharp eye. Look around you!
 
Each with his own task ….
 
We are the men and women at the gate, the “doorkeepers” as the Revised Standard puts it. All our tasks are doors that lead into God.  His love is present in each task as it unfolds before us.  
 
In Our Waiting: A Sudden Coming
 
Advent brings a newness of beginnings.  But usually the tasks remain the same in our life.  It is not enough that our vigilance and expectancy be sustained by our sense of service, as servants with assigned tasks until the master returns.  Our service is our dignity as creatures who serve their Creator.  A lasting joy comes from this service.  But grace calls us into a deeper union with the One who is All in all, beyond our  status of servants.
 
The Second Reading indicates where the source of our life is: 
 
I constantly thank my God for you because of the favor he has bestowed on you in Christ Jesus, in whom you have been richly endowed with every gift of speech and knowledge  … as you wait for the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ.
 
 Jesus is not only our judge, he is our rock and our support; Jesus gives us of the Holy Spirit so we are richly endowed.
 
A Complaint Born of Love into Hope
 
Power is needed as we live in the darkness of the present age.  Advent allows us to complain a little as we labor in the winter light of Advent.  The First Reading gives us the words we dare to pronounce.
 
 You, Lord, are our father, our redeemer you are named forever.  Why do you let us wander, O Lord, from your ways and harden our heats so that we fear you not?
 
In silence of prayer often come the memories of our sins, of the darkness we clung to; memories of the years wasted; memories of the desert of wanderings far from God’s loving presence. 
 
Why do you let us wander, O Lord, from your ways. …For you have hidden your face from us and have delivered us up to our guilt. 
 
 
 Advent deals with the longing for a new beginning, with hope.  The infused virtue of hope redirects our gaze from memories to the power of becoming, to the Morning Star breaking upon us who sit in darkness and the shadow of death. 
 
 O that you would render the heavens and come down with the mountains quaking before you (First Reading).
 
It is in the unknowing of faith that we live in the divine reality, especially now in hope, waiting for the light. 
 
No ear has ever heard, no eye ever has seen any God but you, doing such deeds for those who wait for you (First Reading).
 
He will strengthen you to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.  God is faithful, and it was he who called you to fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord (Second Reading).
 
The Liturgy moves us into the new beginnings of the Mystery of Christ lived within His Church.  Advent concentrates on the struggle for Light over the darkness.  Christ Jesus is our Light.  Our prayer is the opening into that Light.  Let us be faithful to the daily sessions of our prayer.  Let it be our task of love. 
 
BE CONSTANTLY ON THE WATCH!  STAY AWAKE.

 


William Fredrickson, Obl. Secular OSB; D.Min.
 
 
 

 
 


For questions, comments or other communication, please contact:
William Frederickson
Fredrickson46@msn.com