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First Sunday of Advent, Year B

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Lectionary: 2
Read the Gospel: Mark 13:33-37

Gospel Summary
We are reminded in today's gospel that the world as we know it will pass away, and God's Kingdom will come in full. Jesus tells a parable about a master who went away and left each of his servants with a specific task to do. No one knew when the owner would return, just as no one can know when God's plan will be fulfilled. The words of Jesus were quite clear to the early Christians and to us today. We must be watchful and always ready for Jesus' return.

Reflection for Families
Most childrenÐincluding us and our ownÐdon't dig right into a job list left by an absent parent. Instead they watch television, play with the pets, try on their whole wardrobe, or any variety of activities to avoid the list for as long as possible. Once in awhile, they may get caught by either losing track of the time or the parent returning home early. This analogy fits well with today's gospel. Each of us needs to stay on task with how we want to live our lives expecting Jesus' return. One way to do this during the holiday season is to slow down and hear the words of the gospel rather than getting caught up in the rush of the world around us.

Bringing the Gospel Into Your Family
On this First Sunday of Advent, plan one thing you will do this week to slow the pace a bit and focus on the call to be ready and watching for the coming of God's Kingdom. Maybe you can spread cheer in the neighborhood, a nursing home or hospital by singing Christmas carols as a family. Perhaps there's someone who may be lonely and you've been putting off a visit. Make plans to spend some time with that person soon.

Discussion Starters

  1. I remember having a problem once when I was not watching very carefully. The results were disastrous when...
  2. When I have to wait for something really important I usually feel...
  3. The one change I plan to make this Advent season in order to be ready for Jesus' coming is...

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