First Sunday of Advent, 27th November 2022

Matthew 24:37–44

Jesus said, “For as the days of Noah were, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day Noah entered the ark, and they knew nothing until the flood came and swept them all away, so too will be the coming of the Son of Man. Then two will be in the field; one will be taken and one will be left. Two women will be grinding meal together; one will be taken and one will be left. Keep awake therefore, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming. But understand this: if the owner of the house had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and would not have let his house be broken into. Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an unexpected hour.”


In chapter 24 of his gospel, Matthew gives us a discourse which Jesus held with his disciples, concerning the destruction of the temple of Jerusalem and the second coming of Christ as the judge of the world. In the verses we read today, Jesus is speaking of his second coming, and emphasizes its unexpectedness and suddenness.

During this holy season of Advent we are all being called on and exhorted by the Church to prepare ourselves to commemorate worthily the first coming of Christ as our brother and savior. If we do that each year; if we let the full meaning of this great festival of Christmas enter into our innermost being, welcoming the Son of God in the form of the baby of Bethlehem with a clean, sincere and grateful heart, then each year of our lives will be sanctified and a big step will be taken towards our eternal goal. Christmas each year should be a milestone on the road to heaven for every true Christian. It is a festival which vividly recalls to our minds the length our heavenly Father has gone to in order to make us adopted sons and daughters and sharers in his everlasting happiness.

Id god cares so much for our true welfare – and the Incarnation surely proves that he does – we should surely have enough interest in our own future to cooperate with him in this affair of our eternal salvation.

In today’s gospel it is Christ himself who is asking each one of us so to live our lives that no matter when we are called to judgment we shall not be found wanting. This does not mean that we must take no interest in the affairs of this life. Of the two men working in the field and of the two women grinding corn, one each was found unworthy, not because of the work he or she was doing, but because that work had for them wrongly excluded God and his purpose in life. The two found worthy had room for God and their own eternal welfare in their hearts – their work was part of their loyal service to God and was a means towards their salvation.

In this city of ours all adults are occupied one way or another with earthly affairs and necessarily so. But while these earthly affairs become cruel task masters for some and tie down their whole attention to the things of this earth, for others, thank God, their daily tasks are stepping sstones to heaven. The day of reckoning will come suddenly like a thief in the night for the former, and for the others it will not be a thief breaking in but the master knocking at their door to take them to himself.

Christmas comes but once a year but its meaning, its lesson, must remain in our hearts and minds all the year round. God wants us in heaven forever. He sent his Son on earth to bring us there. Aided by God’s grace we resolve today so to live our lives that when death claims us we shall meet Christ, not as a condemning judge, but as a loving brother. Amen.