Our Need for a Savior, Our Need for God
First Sunday of Advent
Brothers and sisters we are now in the new liturgical year of the Church and we start it with the holy season of Advent. The Church begins the new year with a view of the end and the attitudes necessary as we continue on in our spiritual journey: to be awake and to be alert for we do not know when the time will come. The next four weeks are filled with anticipation. What are we anticipating? For many, the answer could be a party, Christmas bonus or vacation leave, and a gift we have wanted from a special person, or from family and friends. But before we continue on with our celebrations especially during the holidays, the Church is leading us to an ambiance when we can pause for a while, wait, and pray.
With the modern technology that is all around us, everything becomes automatic and instant. People nowadays can easily become impatient with little things. Many cannot simply wait. Daghan nato gusto nga moabot dayon ang reply sa atong kachat. Dili lang jud makahuwat. Naa pud uban nga pirme lang gadali, walay panahon sa pagpamalandong. Naa pud uban nato nga gusto kaayo nga madawat dayon ang atong mga gipangayo sa Ginoo. Apan kita gitudluan sa paghuwat. Wait sah, kalma lang. This is the spirit of this Advent Season, it teaches and leads us to the value of waiting!
Beloved friends, to enter also into the spirit of Advent, to prepare for the coming of the Savior, is to acknowledge in us our need for a Savior. In the First Reading today from the Prophet Jeremiah, proclaims to us that the days are coming when God will fulfill the promise that He made to the people of Israel. God offers His gracious help to them, and this offer of salvation from God is also given to us today. We resonate with the Responsorial Psalm which says, “To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul.” It takes one to be humble in order to know one’s need for God, our need to be saved. Kung kita mapaubsanon nga moangkon nga kitang nagkinahanglan ug Manluluwas, nga kita nagkinahanglan sa Dios, that is also the spirit of Advent.
In the Gospel, Jesus tells his disciples to be ready and alert for we do not when the time will come. As we are waiting for that moment in time when the Lord will come to us, we should acknowledge first our need for Him. What are those in us that needs to be healed, to be forgiven, and to be made whole once again? Only then can we pray with the Church this Advent acclamation, “Come, Lord Jesus!” Applying it in our daily life we can pray, “Come and heal me, Lord Jesus!” “Come and forgive me, Lord Jesus!” “Come and make me whole once again, Lord Jesus!” “Come and be with my family, Lord Jesus!” “Come and be part of my work life, Lord Jesus!” “Come and bless my studies, Lord Jesus!” Thus this Season of Advent will become more meaningful when we spend time to pause and wait, and to acknowledge our need to be saved, our need for God.
One beautiful Advent hymn goes like this, “O come, O come Emmanuel, and ransom captive Israel, that mourns in lonely exile here, until the Son of God appear. Rejoice, rejoice, O Israel, to you shall come Emmanuel.” The people then during the time of Jesus cried for deliverance thus they were all longing to be saved and redeemed. They were waiting for the promised Messiah. Today, in this trying time, I believe we also need to be delivered from sin and evil, from CoViD-19, from corruption and injustices, from depression and anxiety, from poverty and violence, and many more.
Brothers and sisters, fellow sinners, in this new year of the Church, in this Advent Season, let us rekindle once again our need and longing for God. In this Eucharistic celebration, we place before the altar of the Lord those that need healing, forgiveness, and wholeness in us.
Come, Lord Jesus. Umanhi ka, O Jesus. Come and heal us. Umanhi ka ug ayoha kami. Come and forgive us. Umanhi ka ug pasayloa kami. Come and make us whole once again. Umanhi ka ug hiusaha kami. Come, Lord Jesus, come!
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