Cycle B

Good News B1

First Sunday of Advent 

 

Mark 13:33-37 New American Bible

Mark 13:33-37 Bible Gateway New International Version

Mark 13:33-37 Bible Gateway Contemporary English Version

 

 

“Be watchful! Be alert! You do not know when the time will come.

 

Today starts a new church year. This is a new beginning. In Year A we mostly looked at the Gospel readings according to Matthew. Today begins Year B and the Gospel readings according to Mark will be our main guide to the Word of Jesus Christ. Next year when Advent begins Year C, the main guide will be Luke. The church uses the gospel according to John to explain special events. The church rotates this schedule of readings: The first year, they do Matthew (Cycle A). The second year, they do Mark (Cycle B). The third year, they do Luke (Cycle C). Then they start over again the next year with Matthew (Cycle A).

 

If you have an Advent wreath, light one candle.

 

In today’s reading, Mark tells you that you should be ready for the time when the end of the world comes. At the end of the world, God the Father will send his angels and gather his elect from the four winds from the ends of the earth to the ends of the heavens. The sun will be darkened. The moon will not give its light. The stars will fall from the sky and the heavenly bodies will be shaken. He tells us that no one knows when this day will come except the Father. God, the Father wants you to be ready for this day. He wants you to live a good life obeying his commandments. If you follow the Ten Commandments and obey the Greatest Commandment, then you will be ready. If you love God with your whole heart, your whole mind, your whole body, and your whole soul and love your neighbor as yourself, then God will take you into heaven to enjoy being with him forever. He wants you to be ever watchful of your ways. He wants you to always be on your good behavior because you do not know when he is going to call you.

Suppose your parents leave you alone for a little while. They give you a list of jobs to do around the house before they return. If the jobs are done when they return, they will take you to a BIG PARTY where you get to do what makes you happy all the time. Instead of doing those jobs, you decide to go to sleep and take a little nap. When your parents return and find you asleep on the job, they probably will be upset and you will not get to go to the BIG PARTY.

God has a BIG PARTY planned for you in heaven. He sent his only Son to die on the cross so that you might go to the BIG PARTY. He gives you gifts to help you stay on the path and follow his list of jobs he wants you to do. One gift is baptism with special graces to help you to do the jobs he put you on earth to do. Another gift is forgiveness when you go off the path. He gives you choices. He loves you so much. He wants you to always choose his ways. He wants you to always be ready for him no matter when he comes for you.

 

Say the “Our Father” to ask God to help keep you ready when he comes for you to go to the BIG PARTY in heaven.

 

“Our Father, who art in Heaven,

Hallowed be Thy name.

Thy kingdom come.

Thy will be done,

On earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day, our daily bread.

And forgive us our trespasses,

As we forgive those who trespass against us.

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.”

 

 

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